Sunday 22 April 2018

Three young Irish-born children abandoned by parents in UK to be brought here and placed in care

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Three young Irish-born children abandoned by their parents in the UK are to be brought home and placed in care, the High Court was told today Thursday.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart has made several orders and declarations which will result in the children, who have been cared for by English Social Services, being returned to Ireland.

The judge said she was satisfied Ireland is the children's habitual residence. The three siblings, ho cannot be identified for legal reasons are all under five years of age.

The application to repatriate the children was made by the Child and Family Agency (CFA), represented in court by barrister Felix McEnroy SC. 

Mr McEnroy said all parties involved with their care were currently in favour of repatriating the children who had been abandoned in a neighbouring jurisdiction with which they had no real connection.  Counsel said when the children's case came before the English High Court it ruled Ireland was their place of habitual residence.

Counsel said on their arrival plans have been put in place by the CFA in regard to their future care. They will be placed in appropriate care and will then become the subject of proceedings before the Irish courts.

Mr McEnroy said that in 2013 the children had been taken by their parents to England. The children's father was involved in criminality in Ireland and had left for England arising out of a perceived threat to him and his wife.. Counsel, who described the family's situation as chaotic, said the parents suffered from personal problems including substance abuse.

He told the court that while the family did initially return to Ireland, the children had been brought back to England last year.  The three children had come to the attention of social services in England after the family had become homeless, and due to the parent's substance abuse. 

In addition, Mr McEnroy said, said a scald mark had been discovered on one of the children, which the parents had attempted to cover up, and which required hospital treatment. 

After the children had been put in care in England their parents had returned to Ireland. Attempts to find the parents had proved difficult and they had not contacted the children for some months.  

Mr McEnroy said the mother had been located in Ireland.  In recent weeks the various parties involved with the children and the mother had been co-operating with each other. 

He said it now also appeared the threats which prompted the family to leave Ireland may have been exaggerated by the father. The matter was adjourned for mention before the High Court again later this month.

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