The Court of Appeal has ruled two young children can return to Australia with their mother - after their father claimed they should stay in Ireland.
The three-judge court overturned an earlier High Court decision.
The children were in Ireland since earlier this year when the Australian mother and Irish father returned here to live.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Sean Ryan, said it was barely necessary for the court to say how distressing all of this had been for everybody concerned.
The judge said the children had been born and brought up in Australia to an Irish father and an Australian mother.
They had returned to Ireland earlier this year, and the wife maintained she reluctantly agreed to move here in circumstances where the husband said they would return to Australia if things did not work out.
After the couple separated, the husband began legal proceedings in which he sought sole custody of the children - but the wife initiated High Court proceedings.
After a full hearing, a judge held the children were habitually resident in Ireland and further proceedings may proceed in this jurisdiction.
The mother was restrained from taking any further steps before the courts in Australia. She appealed the High Court decision.
Mr Justice Ryan said in this case there was not a decisive concord between husband and wife to abandon Australia for good to live in Ireland. He also said the time spent by the children in Ireland was inadequate to establish a change of habitual residence to Ireland.
In those circumstances, he overturned the High Court decision.