Judge orders publication of names and images of children at centre of child abduction proceedings

Pedro Da Silva facing arrest after children not handed over to Irish authorities or returned to mother in UK

A High Court judge has ruled that the names and images of three children who were the subject of child abduction proceedings can be published following their father’s refusal to hand them over to the authorities.

In an extremely rare move, Mr Justice Garrett Simons opted to lift reporting restrictions in the case in order to allow the public to assist gardaí in locating siblings Godjpy Da Silva (10), Jeafide Da Silva (13) and Jenovie Da Silva (16), who are believed to be with their father, Pedro Da Silva.

Arising out of the court’s decision, An Garda Síochána is to issue a Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) alert in respect of the siblings due to concerns about their safety and welfare. The children were taken to Ireland from England, where they normally reside, by their father last Christmas for a purported holiday.

After they failed to return to England in January their mother Alice Da Silva, who is separated from Mr Da Silva, brought proceedings seeking their return under the Hague Convention, the international agreement which governs alleged child abduction.


Mr Da Silva opposed that application and argued that the children should be allowed reside with him in Ireland, and they had been living at Slieve Foye Lodge, Dundalk, Co Louth. Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have directed that the children be returned to England.

Deadline expired

However, the children were not returned or handed over to the relevant authorities by a deadline that expired earlier this week, which has resulted in further proceedings being brought against Mr Da Silva over his refusal to comply with court orders, including orders seeking his attachment and possible committal to prison for contempt.

Mr Justice Simons made several orders against Mr Da Silva on Wednesday including that he be arrested and brought before the court over his alleged contempt. He also made orders allowing An Garda Síochána and Tusla to enter the property where Mr Da Silva and the children have been residing for the purposes of securing the children and bringing them before the courts.

When the matter returned before the High Court on Thursday, the judge was told that gardaí had not been able to locate Mr Da Silva or the children. They were not at the Dundalk address and inquiries were also made to see if they were at a location in west Dublin, the court heard.

Mr Da Silva has sent two emails to lawyers acting for the children’s mother, which further displayed that he would not be complying with the court’s orders regarding the children. He said he would return the children to the UK, but the mother’s lawyers said that promise could not be taken seriously given his recent actions.

In light of the on-going refusal to comply, the court was asked to make orders directing An Garda Síochána to issue a CRI alert. This would see the children’s pictures and names published in the media and on social media.

No option

The judge said he accepted that Mr Da Silva would reject any contention that the three children’s safety and well-being was at risk. However, he said he had no option other than to direct the issuing of the alert given the “flagrant breach” of the court’s orders regarding the children.

In order to do this the judge said he was lifting orders previously granted by the courts preventing the media from identifying any of the parties involved.

Last month the High Court made orders directing that the children be returned to England, which were upheld following an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Mr and Ms Da Silva split up some time ago and the children have been the subject of joint custody and access orders issued by the Courts of England and Wales.

Ms Da Silva’s lawyers successfully argued before the Irish courts that the children were brought to Ireland and wrongfully retained here by their father, without their mother’s consent. The courts noted that the children had expressed objections to returning to their country of habitual residence.

However, the Irish courts ruled that they should be returned to England where their interests may be more carefully examined and accommodated by the authorities in that jurisdiction.