Tuesday 19 March 2019

Father fights for return of son (5)

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A five-year-old Irish boy is at the centre of an alleged international "abduction" battle between his unmarried parents.

In near identical circumstances to last year's landmark Mr G case, where an unmarried father of twin boys lodged child abduction proceedings in London to secure the return of his sons, another Irish man has alleged that his son was wrongfully removed to Britain by his former girlfriend of 10 years.

The man, known as Mr B, whose relationship broke down earlier this year, has complained that his son was wrongfully removed to England by his former girlfriend after she failed to turn up at the gates of a national school in the Leinster area where their son was due to begin his first day of school.

Mr B has complained that his ex-girlfriend's decision to remove their son to England contravenes the Hague Convention, an international law that guards against child abduction.

The Irish Independent has learned that last week a preliminary hearing took place at the High Court in London where a judge ordered British police to confiscate the passports of both mother and child until a full hearing date next month.

Rights

Mr B, who has applied to an Irish District Court for guardianship rights, has been granted legal aid by the central authorities in London and is being represented by an English solicitor there.

There has been a 25pc increase in parental abduction cases in less than a year, with 43 cases lodged in the High Court already this year.

Last night, Paul Campbell, from Family Breakdown Support Services, said that the case reiterated a pressing need for new laws to protect unmarried dads.

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