And this is EXACTLY WHY these type of incidents are problematic! SMH
Ireland returns 2 blond children to Gypsy parents
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
3 hours ago
DUBLIN (AP) — Two blond children who were taken by Irish
police from their Romanian Gypsy parents were returned Wednesday to
their families after DNA tests determined that the children were
rightfully theirs, an episode that raised accusations of racism.
Irish police were responding to public 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 he was "pleased and relieved" that the children
had been returned to their homes. He ordered the police commander,
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."
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
organized street-begging rackets involving children.
police went to one Roma family's home in southwest Dublin and sought the
passport and birth certificate of the girl. The family produced them,
but police opted to issue an emergency child protection order and place
the child in state care. Police said the Romanian passport was not
useful because it had a baby photo, not the girl's current appearance,
while the birth certificate did not match Dublin hospital records.
Tuesday, police in the midlands town of Athlone went to another Roma
family's home and asked both parents to provide mouth-swab samples from
their son and themselves. The boy then was taken away by social workers
overnight and returned the next day after the child's parentage was
Irish child protection law prohibits the publication of
the names of either family because their cases involve the placement of
children into state protective custody.
The Athlone family's
father told reporters he had assured police that other relatives also
had blond hair and blue eyes. He said his wife couldn't sleep all night
and the boy's older sister cried much of the night.
family's lawyer, Waheed Mudah, issued a statement outside the Family
Court accusing the police of acting without justifiable cause.
said his clients were "very conscious of the fact that this case has
been linked" with the Greek child-abduction case, "which has nothing to
do with them."
He said his clients hoped parents across Ireland
would "consider how they would feel if one of their children was taken
away in similar circumstances for similar reasons. They hope no other
family has to go through the experience they have suffered."
Pavee Point, a Dublin-based support group for Gypsies, said the police were guilty of racial profiling and child abduction.
group's co-director, Martin Collins, said he feared that more children
"of Roma parents who are not dark-skinned and have brown eyes could be
taken away, one after the other, for DNA test after DNA test. It's
outrageous. It's despicable."
Ireland's national police, the Garda
Siochana, confirmed that both children were returned to their families
Wednesday. In a statement the force defended its actions as consistent
with child-protection laws, and said the public should be assured "that
we take extremely serious(ly) all reports received from members of the
public concerning child welfare issues."
Edited by Alias_Avi - Oct 23 2013 at 8:25pm