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Roma child cases: Emily Logan's handed her report in to Alan Shatter

The removal of the two children from their families in Dublin and Athlone last October led to strong criticism of the HSE and Gardaí.

Emily Logan & Alan Shatter
Emily Logan & Alan Shatter
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 11.16pm

CHILDREN’S OMBUDSMAN EMILY Logan has handed her report on the removal of two Roma children from their families over to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Logan was given special powers to investigate the gardaí and the Health Service Executive (HSE) over the two cases, which happened in October of last year.

It follows the removal of two children, aged seven and two, from their families in Dublin and Athlone. Authorities had been told that the children in question did not belong to their parents.

DNA tests later established that he claims were without foundation. The handling of the cases led to strong criticism of the Gardaí and the HSE.

Reports carried out by both the Gardaí and the HSE were handed into Shatter and Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald last November.

Logan was tasked with scrutinising those two reports. She also held meetings with the children and families at the centre of the cases.

Timeline

The Children’s Ombudsman’s office has released a timeline of how she carried out her report.

A review of the initial garda documentation was carried out in December — while the following month meetings were held with various third parties, including an expert in human rights policing.

In January, 42 meetings took place. Parties included:

  • The children and families at the centre of the cases
  • The members of An Garda Síochána directly involved in the events in question
  • HSE Social Workers in the relevant Local Health Offices
  • Public Health Nurses
  • The Principal of the school attended by the one of the children taken into care
  • A Project Leader with Barnardos
  • The foster parents in whose care the children were temporarily placed

Logan was required to make a court application for the lifting of the in camera rule with respect to proceedings relating to one of the children prior to handing in her report.

The Justice Minister will be required to make a similar submission to the courts if the report is to be made public.

Shatter’s office has confirmed tonight that he is making the necessary arrangements for this to happen, and that he is seeking the advice of the Attorney General on the issue.

First posted at 6.45pm.

Read: Children’s Ombudsman given powers to investigate gardaí as well as HSE

Read: Roma child incidents result of ‘pure, raw, naked, poisonous racism’

Read: HSE child services chief to meet with Garda Commissioner on Roma cases

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