Ireland returns 2 children to parents from Roma family
By The Associated Press
Published: 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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Malaysian leader: Plane could have reached Kazakhstan
- U.S. ‘deeply disturbed’ by Chinese dissident’s death
- Gunmen kill 6 Egyptian soldiers at army checkpoint
- Syria conflict marks 3-year anniversary amid offensive
- Cuba allows phone access to some email
- Libya says its forces near oil tanker
- Isrelis hide in bomb shelters; Islamic Jihad terrorists announce cease-fire
- U.S. officials: Jet’s diversion ‘deliberate act’
- Pistorius’ watch gone in search
- Canada targets safety on rails