Gardaí searching for father who has fled with son

Gardaí are searching for a father who has failed to return his son to the man’s estranged wife and has disappeared with the boy.

Already this year, gardaí have issued an adult caution to the man after he wrote graffiti and erected signs around his ex-partner’s house in Co Clare and glued the lock on her home in a bid to intimidate the woman.

Following their separation, the mother resides in Clare with their son and the father resides on the European mainland.

At the family law court, solicitor for the mother, Frank Doherty said that the father returned from his overseas home for a family law case about a safety order and asked for access to his son on Wednesday.

However, Mr Doherty said that gardaí are now searching for the man and his son after the boy’s mother alerted gardaí that the father had not brought the boy to school yesterday morning.

Mr Doherty said:

He [the father] is now gone with the child and he hasn’t contacted the boy’s mother or the gardaí to advise where the child is.

In court, Judge Patrick Durcan granted a three-year safety order for the woman after hearing that earlier this year, the man returned to Ireland and wrote graffiti and erected signs in the woman’s locality and around her home.

Photos of the graffiti and the signs were handed into Judge Durcan to inspect.

Mr Doherty said: “These were signs that were to intimidate the woman and to let her know that her husband was in the locality.”

The court heard that when the woman returned to her house in Co Clare, her lock was glued and she reported this to gardaí.

Mr Doherty added: “The activities were admitted by the husband and an adult caution was given,” and he told the judge that the woman “is afraid of this man”.

The solicitor said that previously, the couple lived together abroad “and due to the violent relationship the woman left her native country”.

Mr Doherty said that a similar three-year safety order application was granted to the woman in her native country.

Judge Durcan said that he would grant the safety order for three years.

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