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Saturday 30 August 2014

Charlie Flanagan says report on removal of Roma children is 'worrying'

Emma Jane Hade

Published 13/05/2014 | 02:30

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Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

CHILDREN'S Minister Charlie Flanagan has said that the Ombudsman's report into the removal of two Roma children from their families "raises some very serious issues".

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The newly appointed minister was speaking at the Business in the Community school mentoring programme in Dublin yesterday, his first official public engagement in his new role.

A special inquiry report by the Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan is due to be published shortly into the two cases of the Roma children, who were temporarily taken from their parents in Athlone and Tallaght.

Gardai used emergency powers to remove the children, who have blonde hair and blue eyes and do not closely resemble their parents.

Ms Logan's report is expected to find that "ethnic profiling" was a key factor in both incidents, although she does not believe it is a major issue within the gardai.

It is also understood that she disapproves of the fact that DNA tests were carried out.

Mr Flanagan said that any decision on whether to include the findings in a wider inquiry into the gardai was "not for now".

Irish Independent

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