herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Three children abandoned in UK by parents

The Four Courts in Dublin
The Four Courts in Dublin

Three young Irish children abandoned by their parents in the UK are to be brought home and placed in care, the High Court has been told.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart has made several orders and declarations which will result in the children, who have been cared for by English Social Services, being returned here.

The judge said she was satisfied Ireland is the children's habitual residence. The three siblings, who cannot be identified for legal reasons are all under five years of age.

The application to repatriate the children was made by the Child and Family Agency.

Mr Felix McEnroy SC, for the CFA, said all parties involved were currently in favour of repatriating the children who had been abandoned in a neighbouring jurisdiction with which they had no real connection.

Mr McEnroy said the children had been taken by their parents to England in 2013.

The children's father was involved in criminality in Ireland and had left for England arising out of a perceived threat to him and his wife.

Counsel, who described the family's situation as chaotic, said the parents suffered from personal problems including substance abuse.

RETURN

He told the court that while the family did initially return to Ireland, the children had been brought back to England last year.

The three youngsters had come to the attention of social services there after the family had become homeless, and due to the parent's substance abuse.

In addition, Mr McEnroy said, a scald mark had been discovered on one of the children, which the parents had attempted to cover up, and which required hospital treatment.

After the children had been put in care in England, their parents had returned to Ireland. Attempts to find them had proved difficult and they had not contacted the children for some months.

Mr McEnroy said the mother had now been located in Ireland and in recent weeks had been co-operating with the various parties involved with the children.

He said it now also appeared the threats which prompted the family to leave Ireland may have been exaggerated by the father. The matter was adjourned for mention again later this month.

hnews@herald.ie

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