Pavee Point welcomes Roma child cases inquiry

A leading Roma group said it was “confident” the inquiry into the removal of two Roma children from their families will be full and comprehensive.

Pavee Point Traveller and& Roma Centre was responding to reports in yesterday’s Irish Examiner detailing the terms of reference of the investigation by the Ombudsman for Children into the two cases last October.

Pavee Point also revealed it met this week with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission to discuss the possibility of lodging a complaint with them. But a spokeswoman stressed they were “fully committed” to the investigation by the ombudsman.

Emily Logan was appointed by Justice Minister Alan Shatter on Oct 25 to investigate the role of the gardaí after he gave her the powers to do so under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. The inquiry will examine the circumstances surrounding the removal of two children from their Roma families in Dublin and Athlone on suspicion over their identities.

A seven-year-old girl was returned to her parents in Tallaght within two days following DNA tests, while a two-year-old boy was given back to his parents in Athlone within a day, following local enquiries.

“We welcome the ombudsman’s investigation,” said a Pavee Point spokes-woman. “We have always maintained there should be a full and independent inquiry and from what we see [in the terms of reference] we are confident that with the ombudsman’s existing powers and what’s provided under Section 42 it will allow a full and comprehensive investigation.”

She added: “We are aware there is an opportunity for the families to pursue the matter with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission if they feel it appropriate.

“We met this week with [the commission]. We were very happy with the meeting. They were very open and very clear how the matter can be pursued if needed.”


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