Thursday 20 June 2019

Our son woke up crying, says dad of boy taken by gardai

Two-year-old Iancu Muntean, pictured with his mum, Loredaiva, and his dad, Iancu, outside their home in Meadowbrook Estate, Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Two-year-old Iancu Muntean, pictured with his mum, Loredaiva, and his dad, Iancu, outside their home in Meadowbrook Estate, Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Two year old Iancu Muntean pictured with his mother Loredana and sister Regina [4] outside their home in Meadowbrook Estate Athlone yesterday. Photo: Frank McGrath
Two year old Iancu Muntean pictured with his mother Loredana and sister Regina (4) outside their home in Meadowbrook Estate Athlone yesterday. Photo: Frank McGrath
Two year old Iancu Muntean pictured with his mother Loredana, father Iancu and sister Regina (4) outside their home in Meadowbrook Estate Athlone yesterday.
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

THE families of two Roma children who were removed from their parents amid probes into their identity have told how they woke up distressed and crying in the night.

Iancu Muntean, who lives in Athlone, Co Westmeath, told how both his son Iancu Jnr (2), pictured, and the boy's mother, Loredaiva Sava (23), had been having difficulty sleeping after the incident.

And the mother of a seven-year-old girl taken from her Co Dublin home for two nights hopes her child will forget the saga over time.

After the little girl was returned to her arms in Tallaght, late on Wednesday night, the family told how she had woken up crying and calling for her "mama" during her first night home.

RELUCTANT

She was reluctant to question the little girl, who cannot be identified, about her time away from her siblings.

"I don't want to ask her anything," she said, as she just wanted her to forget the entire thing.

"She is in school now," said the mother, as the family welcomed friends to their house to congratulate them on the outcome.

"I feel really tired after this situation – but happy."

And standing outside his home in a housing estate in Athlone, Co Westmeath, Iancu Muntean (22), father of Iancu Jnr (2), told how both his son and girlfriend, Loredaiva Sava (23), from Bucharest, Romania, had been having difficulty sleeping over the incident and were still unaware where their son had been taken for the night.

Ms Sava said her son had been "crying" and was scared, and had told her "the garda, she come to take me back" after waking up.

Her son, normally, was eager to play with his tricycles and his older sister, Regina (4), had been upset too leaving the family to attend school. "He asked me: 'What happened, Daddy, why do you bring me down there?'." his father said.

The family said they were told he spent the time apart from them crying and was reluctant to eat food. "I said: 'Why do you do that to my son?'" he said, adding he had brought both his son and girlfriend to the doctor to get them tablets to help them sleep.

He said his son was now acting scared around people he did not know, such as the GP.

The father said if his son continued to suffer from problems sleeping then they would consider taking a civil action through the courts.

"If my son is ok, then no court," he said. "If he continues to wake up in the night time, I go to the courts straight away."

Mr Muntean said he did not believe this would happen to an Irish family and believed it was a type of discrimination against the Roma community.

"No go to Irish, only to Romanians, as the Romanians he think is scared or something. Why is Romanian people different?" he added.

RESPECT

He questioned how the State could just remove his child from his care for a night and stated no one should have taken their child and there should be "respect" shown to everyone.

"They should take my blood first," he said, adding he had received support from people on the streets of Athlone and they too were "sad" at such an occurrence.

"If he had blue eyes and blond hair, why is it my fault? The God give me," he said.

Ms Sava told how her father and her aunt had blond hair and blue eyes, so it was a family trait.

She told how her son had been born in Portiuncula Hospital, in Ballinasloe, in 2011, while they had celebrated the birth of their first child, Regina (4), there in 2009. And Mr Muntean added how he had been able to produce birth documents to show to gardai.

Irish Independent

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