Gardai told to check on eight teen girls living with family
THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has called on the Garda Commissioner to take action in relation to eight unaccompanied girls who had been living with a family in Dublin.
The children -- all from Romania -- have no legal guardians or parents in the State, prompting a judge to call on the DPP to investigate their "domestic situation".
Judge Clare Leonard, at the Dublin Children's Court, had referred the matter to the DPP after one of the girls -- a 17-year-old mother of two -- was charged with shoplifting.
Yesterday, the judge said that in response to concerns she had raised earlier the DPP had written to the Garda Commissioner "to take whatever steps are necessary."
Judge Leonard said she had concerns over the circumstances of the girl, who was brought to Ireland at the age of 13. The girl was aged 16 when she gave birth to her second child and lives with her partner -- who is in his early 20s -- and his family at an address in Dublin.
The judge had also said the fact that seven other girls, also unaccompanied minors with ages ranging from 12 to 15, lived at the same address had "wider significance" and there was not a "basis in Irish law for farming out one's child like that".
The girl was not present when her case resumed yesterday. Garda Sarah O'Beirne said the teenager's mother, who does not reside in Ireland, had been contacted but "is not willing to help her child, she is not her problem, that is her attitude".
Judge Leonard said the case had already been before the court on several occasions and struck out the charges.