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Dublin: 6°C Monday 6 December 2021

Family still don't know where Roma boy (2) was kept overnight by HSE

The family of the young boy are suing the State for breach of constitutional rights.

Image: Family via Shutterstock

THE FAMILY OF a young boy who was removed at the age of two from his family say they don’t know where he was kept in HSE care overnight.

The family have issued proceedings against the State, Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner for unlawful imprisonment, negligence, emotional suffering, abuse of process, and breach of the family’s constitutional and human rights.

Making a recovery

This morning, the family’s solicitor, Paul Connellan, told Morning Ireland that the child was at a “very tender age” when he was removed from the family, so he seems to be making a good recovery.

The boy was aged two when he was taken from his parents under childcare legislation in October of last year and placed in HSE care.

Inquiries were carried out to establish his identity, and he was then returned the following day to his family’s care.

Their solicitor said today:

He has his own medical issues which were relevant at that time as well. They continue. The mother has had another baby girl recently and they’re doing well but there’s no doubt this has had a very traumatic experience for them. They were extremely upset at the time. And even to this day they don’t know where the child was taken to that night. They have been given no information as to where the child was kept.

He said they have asked for information, “and it just hasn’t been forthcoming”.

“We know the gardaí made arrangements though one of the foster agencies but the information as to his whereabouts overnight has not been forthcoming”, said Connellan.

Apology and report

An apology is due to the family today, as well as the publishing of a report into the incident and a second incident in which a girl in Tallaght was removed from her family.

The boy’s family will continue with legal action regardless of the report or apology.

“Depending on the full context of the report there may be an additional heading of defamation,” said Connellan.

He added that a new protocol in relation to issues such as these is “badly needed” and that there should be a properly structured out-of-hours tackling between the agencies.

“If that had been in place in Athlone last October, this problem probably wouldn’t have arisen,” said Connellan.

Read: Children’s Ombudsman to release report into removal of Roma children from families>

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