Thursday 22 February 2018

Judge recommends young couple be allowed to spend first Christmas with newborn son

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A judge has recommended a young couple be allowed spend their first Christmas with their newborn son, who is currently in care.

The recommendation was made by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys following an application brought by the couple against Tusla, the Child and Family Agency (CFA), aimed at quashing interim care orders made in the District Court in relation to their son.

The couple are not Irish and moved here a short time ago.

The couple say following the birth of their child at an Irish hospital, the infant was taken into care by CFA on foot of information passed to the agency from social services in the couple's own country.

They claim the orders breach their rights and are seeking to have them quashed.

On Monday (Dec 21), Mr Justice Humphreys granted the couple leave to bring judicial review proceedings against Tusla.

The child's father and mother, who are not legally represented, told the judge they have two supervised visits of one and a half hours in duration per week.

The father said the visits are usually scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

They were also missing a visit scheduled for Monday because they were in court, the father said.

They are due to see their child on December 23 and again on December 30.

When asked by the judge if they would like to see their child on Christmas Day, the father said they would like to see their baby "every day."

The judge said he would make a non binding recommendation that the agency facilitate a visit so the couple could be with their child on Christmas Day.

The judge also  said the case raised serious and "very important" issues.  He urged the couple to consider obtaining lawyers to represent them in the proceedings.

After the couple said they  would seek lawyers, the judge said he was making a  formal recommendation that the legal aid board give priority to the couple's application.

The matter will return to court in January

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