Second child taken from Roma family returned to parents
on 23/10/2013 12:28:57
The two-year-old boy was removed from his family home in Athlone in the midlands yesterday and placed in the care of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Investigating gardaí were believed to be acting on concerns about the child's appearance, but were satisfied about the little boy's identity after carrying out inquiries.
He was returned to the family this morning.
The head of the European Roma Rights Centre says the Roma community is frustrated and uncomfortable with the coverage of the case.
Dezideriu Gergely of the ERRC says assumptions are being made about the Roma community based on criminality and on physical appearance.
"I think that the risk here is to create … a very uncomfortable feeling among the Roma members which doesn't have anything to do with any criminality aspect," he said.
"They would feel, obviously, that they might be pointed out, or investigated, on the basis of appearance."
Meanwhile, DNA tests are being carried out to identify a blonde, blue-eyed seven-year-old girl removed from a Roma family in Dublin on Monday.
The youngster has spent two night in the care of the State after a member of the public reported the youngster was living with the family in a house in a south Dublin suburb.
Her family believe she will be returned to them this evening
No arrests have been made and family members are not facing an allegation of abduction.
Action to seek a care order was taken after gardaí believed the family was unable to prove the girl's identity conclusively.
A couple who claim they are the girl's parents said she was born in the Coombe Hospital in Dublin in April 2006 and is their daughter.
However officers removed the youngster after spending several hours at the Dublin property on Monday.
It is understood that a name and date of birth the parents gave did not match records with the register office and a passport bore a picture of a baby and could not be matched to the seven-year-old.
A number of other children, believed to be the girl's siblings, who were in the house at the time were not taken into care.
Relations from the Roma community said they were upset and claimed that the girl was part of the family and should be returned as the family has documentary proof.
Others said the girl - who was physically well - was not the only member of the family with blonde hair.
Unlike the case in Greece where a girl, known as Maria, was found in a settlement near Farsala, DNA tests have yet to be carried out.
The only similarity between the stories is that the girls are blonde-haired and blue-eyed and had a different appearance from that of the couple they were found living with.
In the Greek case, a DNA test on Maria proved she was not related to Christos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, and the couple have been held on charges of abduction and document fraud.