Zambian woman defends abducting her children

A Zambian woman who had lost custody of her child has defended her decision to abduct him, along with his half-brother, and take them to Africa.

Elizabeth Daka’s ex-husband and another ex-partner are now fundraising to travel to Africa so they can mount a legal challenge in the Zambian courts to bring their sons, Ethan, 7, and Troy, 2, back to Ireland. There is little the Irish courts can do to return the boys to Ireland as Zambia has not signed up to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.

Elizabeth managed to get her son, Ethan Quarry, out of this country without his passport last April. A court order was in place forbidding her from taking him from the country.

Since he was two, Zambia-born Ethan had lived with his father, Richard Quarry, from Kinsale, Co Cork, who had been granted full custody of him by Cork Circuit Court.

Following an article in yesterday’s Irish Examiner, Elizabeth contacted the newspaper: “When Richard got custody of Ethan in 2008 he chased me away from his house and I was living in Cuanlee refuge in Cork City. Since then it was a nightmare to see Ethan. I often rang Kinsale police but they can only say go back to court.”

Elizabeth also said that her ex-partner, Patrick Beary, who she met following the breakdown of her marriage to Richard, had kicked her out of their home days after their son, Troy, was born. She also said he had only wanted access to Troy for two hours per week.

Patrick, from Douglas in Cork, has denied these version of events but said he wanted to desist from “mud-slinging”.

He said he had warned the HSE that Elizabeth would attempt to take Troy to the Zambian capital, Lusaka, without his permission but was told there was little he could do as he did not have custody of the boy. “I had wanted joint custody of Troy but was advised it was pointless and settled for weekend access. All I can say is that if I thought she would take good care of Troy in Zambia and that he could have a good life there, I would not be so concerned. But the children don’t come first,” he said.

In July, both men travelled to the township where the boys are living and grew increasingly concerned for their sons’ welfare because of the lack of health and safety, sanitation and education.

Responding to the Irish Examiner, Ms Daka said her children were “fine and healthy”.

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