TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Ireland returns 2 children to parents from Roma family

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
 

DUBLIN — Two blond children who were taken by Irish police from their Romanian Gypsy parents were returned on Wednesday to their families when DNA tests determined that the children were rightfully theirs, an episode that raised accusations of racism.

The Irish police were responding to tipoffs fueled by media coverage of an alleged child abduction case in Greece involving a blond-haired girl and a family of Gypsies, known as Roma.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter told lawmakers that he was “pleased and relieved” that the children had been returned to their homes. He ordered police Commissioner Martin Callinan, to produce a report explaining why officers felt it necessary to take the children — a 2-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl — from their families.

“We must all be particularly conscious of the regrettable distress that arose for the two families and their children,” Shatter said.

He defended the need for police and child welfare officers to remove children from potentially dangerous homes, but cautioned that Irish authorities must ensure “that no group or minority community is singled out for unwarranted suspicion in relation to child protection issues.”

In both cases, police suspected that the children might be victims of abductions because they were blond-haired and blue-eyed, unlike the rest of their immediate relatives.

An estimated 5,000 Roma have settled over the past decade in Ireland, where many have been linked to street begging rackets involving children.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Nuclear talks bog down as Iran team balks at key decisions, envoys say
  2. Iraqi militias begin move on Ramadi
  3. Americans with taste for mojitos flock to Havana
  4. Rocket fired from Gaza Strip strikes Israeli port
  5. Popular tourist spot attacked in Afghanistan
  6. American reporter’s espionage trial begins
  7. Relentless heat wave kills more than 1,000 in India
  8. Army commando team kills senior Islamic State official in Syria raid
  9. Islamic State terrorists tighten grip on Ramadi, Iraq, execute opponents
  10. Former Israeli PM Olmert sentenced to prison for taking campaign money from American
  11. Japan to participate in joint exercise with U.S., Australia