Saturday 19 January 2019

What is done after CRI alert child is found?

Mark O'Regan

The Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) system was launched in May 2012 but first used more than a year later in the tragic case of the Chada family.

A CRI is issued when there is a suspicion a child has been taken without consent and where a risk to the child's safety or welfare is also feared.

The first ever alert in July 2013 ended with Eoghan Chada (10) and his brother Ruairi (5) dead at the hands of their own father Sanjeev (44), who was last week jailed for murder.

But several other alerts have ended without harm to the children involved.

When a child is located following an alert, gardai immediately launch a detailed review of the case to see what lessons can be learned for the future.

The child is then medically assessed and, if necessary, specially-trained family liaison officers are involved.

"Psychologists will advise us whether the child has sufficiently recovered to give a statement," a garda source explained.

"In years gone by, statements would be taken from all concerned as soon as possible. But that's not how it is done now. We give everyone time and allow specially-trained child investigators come in.

"If a psychologist says the child isn't fit to be interviewed for a week, then, for medical reasons, we have to step back."

The source added that at all times the interests of the child must come first.

Irish Independent

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