Roma family awarded €60,000 damages after blonde-haired son removed by gardaí

The High Court has awarded a Roma family - whose two year old son was removed by Gardaí two years ago - €60,000 in damages under a settlement of their legal action.

The boy was removed from his home in Athlone Co Westmeath in October 2013 after members of the public reported concerns he might not be the child of his parents.

He was returned to their care the following day.

An action was taken by the parents on behalf of the child - seeking damages for false imprisonment, unlawful arrest and breach of his human rights.

Solicitor Paul Connellan, who represented the family in the case, said: "To be fair, both to the child himself and to the State, that all of the circumstances are taken into account and obviously the State would put up an argument that in emergency cases, they must act swiftly.

"The case we were making was that the State, in this case the gardaí, acted precipitously and without full enquiry, and their reaction was exaggerated."

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