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Gardai didn't contact Roma boy's hospital

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  Iancu Muntean Picture: Frank McGrath

Iancu Muntean Picture: Frank McGrath

Iancu Muntean Picture: Frank McGrath

THE gardai failed to consult social workers before removing a two-year-old Roma boy from his parents in Athlone.

It has emerged that the HSE insisted that Iancu Muntean should be reunited with his family as soon as it was made aware of his removal.

The blond-haired, blue-eyed boy was removed from his family's home last week after gardai were told that he might have been kidnapped.

He was able to return home to his parents the next morning.

His father, also called Iancu (22), has revealed that he has met with a solicitor and is making preparations to take legal action against the State.

He and his pregnant girlfriend Loredaiva Sava (23) were shocked when gardai called to their home on Tuesday night and took their son away from them. Iancu said that he begged them to call the hospital to confirm he was their son.

Mr Muntean said: "My girlfriend is pregnant. What would have happened if she lost the baby because of the shock of this? What would have happened then?"

HOSPITAL

Iancu said his son was born in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, two years after his older sister Regina (4), and he could not understand why the gardai didn't contact the hospital.

"God gave blonde hair and blue eyes to my son and that shouldn't be a reason for guards to take him," he said.

At 7am last Wednesday health officials contacted him, and he was told he could collect his son from a health centre in Athlone.

The little boy's removal into care followed a similar case in Dublin last Monday, when gardai removed a seven-year-old Roma girl from her home in Tallaght.

The Tallaght girl, who cannot be named, was taken into care using emergency powers.

She remained in the care of the State for two nights while DNA tests were conducted to confirm the relationship between the girl and the parents.

Last Wednesday evening, she returned to her family.

fdillon@herald.ie


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