TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore said he would "very concerned" if any extra attention was paid to families of different race or ethnicity by State agencies like the gardai and the HSE.
Questions to Mr Gilmore in the Dail this morning were dominated by the embarrassing episode in which two Roma children were removed from their families because of doubts about their parentage.
While the Tanaiste said while there he had questions over the incidents, he added people must wait until reports from the Gardai and the HSE are completed.
Mr Gilmore said he wanted to know what health or safety risks the children were deemed to be in, who made the decision to take them from their parents, and whether the issue could have been resolved without taking the children away.
He also called the affair "very disturbing".
The Tanaiste said he would be "very concerned" if that was the case and said everyone is treated equally by all arms of the State.
Ms McDonald said there is no concern that the State could move in "willy-nilly" and take children, and said it is not good enough for the Gardai and HSE to be carrying out internal investigations, which she said should be carried independently.
Independent TD Finian McGrath said the Government should deal with issues of "prejudice" and "racism" while Socialist Joe Higgins claimed "a bigoted busybody" was responsible for calling gardai over the incident.