RTE, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the gardai are under investigation for alleged incitement to hatred over the reporting of the seizures of the two Roma children.
One of the country's leading immigration lawyers made a formal complaint to gardai in Co Waterford on Friday, citing what he sees as a clear infringement of the incitement laws by the repeated use of the words "Roma, blue eyes, blonde hair".
Barrister Garry O'Halloran lodged the complaint in Youghal garda station and the matter is now under investigation.
In his complaint, Mr O'Halloran says: "That the corporate bodies An Garda Siochana, the Health Service Executive and RTE each committed offences contrary to the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989, and in particular section 3(1) and section 7 thereof, in distributing and/or publishing reports relating to the removal of two Roma children from their respective families in Tallaght and Athlone.
"In particular, I complain that the repeated use of the words or phrases 'Roma, blue eyes, blonde hair' were, prima facie, likely to stir up hatred."
Section 3 of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act to "insulting visual images or sounds . . . having regard to all the circumstances, hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby" or "reasonably be inferred to stir up hatred".
In its reports on the seizure of the seven-year-old girl in Tallaght, RTE repeatedly stated that the child was taken "because her features – blonde hair and blue eyes" and said that these "contrasted with the other children in the home".
Ireland has come under criticism in the international media over the seizures of the girl in Dublin and the two-year-old boy in Athlone and their subsequent return to their families. And gardai themselves have questioned the manner in which the children were taken from their families.
Protocols for taking children into care, where there is no apparent threat to their safety, have changed considerably in recent years, they say.
A long-serving officer said last week that in the past the procedure would be to call to the house and inform the parents of a complaint. If there was a possible flight risk gardai would be posted outside the house until the gardai could satisfy themselves fully to the nature of the complaint.
If there was an attempt at flight they would only then intervene, the source said.
The vast majority of the thousand or so cases of emergency care orders on children are in houses where there is fighting between parents, usually with drink or drugs involved, sources said.
Gardai last week also questioned the decision, taken in conjunction with the HSE, to take only the blonde-haired children was made, leaving other children behind, if there was any suspicion of child trafficking.