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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 18 January 2022
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No prosecution for parents accused of sexually abusing their two children

Legal action has been brought by the children’s foster parents in an effort to block them from being reunited with their natural parents.

3131138743_10e6fe4891_b Source: William Murphy

THE DIRECTOR OF Public Prosecutions (DPP) has decided not to bring any criminal prosecutions against the natural parents of two children, both aged under 10, who were alleged to have been sexually abused in the natural family environment, the High Court was told today.

Rosario Boyle SC, counsel for foster parents currently looking after the children, said this had been a new development in proceedings being heard by Ms Justice Marie Baker relating to whether or not the court’s wardship process was the appropriate way of dealing with the protection of the children.

The foster parents have taken High Court proceedings in a bid to block the children being reunited with their natural parents, and want the two children made wards of court. Four other senior counsel represent the natural father and the natural mother as well as the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and a guardian ad litem appointed by the court.

Gerard Durkan, counsel for the guardian, was addressing the court today on legal authorities but initially told Judge Baker he wished to express concern that Tusla had failed to carry out an expected risk analysis regarding the children’s return to their natural parents.

“Disturbing evidence”

High Court President, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, on 18 August directed that the matter be considered by another judge after he made reference to “disturbing evidence” about alleged sexual abuse and brutal treatment of the children.

He temporarily restrained the children from being reunited with their parents and said the alleged sexual abuse and brutal treatment of the two children was the most disturbing evidence he had read in 20 years on the bench.

Judge Baker has heard that Tusla “inexplicably” withdrew an application to the District Court for a care order relating to the children after a judge had listened to evidence and legal argument for 29 days.

The agency had been promoting the children’s reunification with their natural parents but withdrew the District Court case on the 29th day on the basis it was “too toxic and cost too much”.

Judge Baker told counsel today she was dealing only with the question of the court having jurisdiction to deal with the foster parents’ application under the court’s Wardship process.

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Ray Managh

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