Monday 29 December 2014

Removal of Roma children from families raises 'serious issues', says Children's Minister

Emma Jane Hade

Published 12/05/2014 | 12:13

Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan pictured at Aras an Uachtarain yesterday. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan pictured at Aras an Uachtarain yesterday. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

CHILDREN’S Minister Charlie Flanagan has said that Emily Logan’s report into the removal of two Roma children from their families “raises some very serious issues”.

The newly appointed Minister was speaking at his first public engagement as Children’s Minister earlier this morning.

It was reported yesterday that the special inquiry report by the Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan into the two cases that occurred late last year found that “ethnic profiling” was a key factor.

.Ms Logan said that although the cases showed signs of ethnic profiling, she did not deem it to be an issue within the force.

It was also reported that she criticised the fact that DNA tests were carried out, and that the evidence provided by the parents should have been sufficient.

Minister Flanagan said that he is yet to read the report in full, but that it does raise some concerns.

However, he refused to confirm if this incident should be included in any wider investigation into the gardai

“I haven’t yet had an opportunity to read the report in full, it raises some very serious issues, all of which will be taken on board and I look forward to making a statement later on, once I have had an opportunity of reading the report in detail,” he said.

“It raises some serious issues that need to be addressed.  Whether or not that should be included in any further garda enquiry is not for now.  But I do feel the issues involved are serious.

“There are privacy issues here, there are policy issues here.  And I would be considering all aspects in early course.”

Two children were removed from their families last October, a two-year-old boy in Athlone and a seven-year-old girl in Tallaght, Dublin.

They were separated from their parents by the authorities after members of the public raised concerns amid the publicity surrounding a similar case in Greece, where a blond child found with a Roma family was suspected to be a kidnap victim

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