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There were 64 cases of children being abducted from Ireland last year

There were also 45 cases of abducted children being brought here.

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE dealt with 109 new cases of child abduction last year, 45 relating to children entering the country and 64 leaving.

The department acts as the Central Authority for International Child Abduction and its annual report says that, in total, they dealt with 208 new cases last year.

This total also includes cases of  care orders and access applications as well as international child placements.

Including ongoing cases, the authority dealt with a total of 346 cases in 2013.

The abductions related primarily to suspected parental child abductions according to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

“Parental child abduction is a growing problem globally reflecting the greater mobility of people around the world and all the consequences of this,” she said today.

Ireland is no different and it is important that we are proactive in working with central authorities in other states in resolving complaints regarding international parental child abductions where they arise.

About half of the cases dealt with last year related to abductions to or from the United Kingdom.

Of the 138 ongoing cases of child abduction, 51 were incoming and 87 were outgoing.

Upon the publication of the report, Fitzgerald said that she hoped many cases could be resolved by families themselves but added that, in most cases, legal remedies are required.

“The resolution of issues around parental child abduction is usually by international law,” she said. “But I would encourage any family to try to resolve their differences before such situations arise and avail of the services available to mediate solutions in the best interest of the children and all those involved.”

Fitzgerald advised families that the Family Mediation Service in the Legal Aid Board can help families reach agreement without having to resort to court.

Read: 147 new cases of suspected child abductions reported in 2012 >

Read: Gardaí to launch free Child Rescue Ireland Alert app tomorrow >

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Rónán Duffy

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