Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald today questioned the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore on the issue of the two Roma children taken from their families this week.
Deputy McDonald made her remarks during leaders’ questions in the Dáil this morning.
“Against a backdrop of scandalous tabloid newspaper coverage children were taken from their homes in what appear to be clear cases of racial profiling.
“Under the Childcare Act the Gardaí must have reasonable grounds for believing there is ‘an immediate and serious risk to the child.’
“On the basis of the information we have at present this does not appear to be the case.
“Indeed if such a risk did exist surely all of the children would have been removed from these families, not just those with blond hair and blue eyes.
“The speed of the intervention in these cases stands in marked contrast to many others.
“Last week the Children's Ombudsman revealed that the HSE failed to intervene over several years after a child made multiple allegations of rape.
“Another report revealed that 4,100 children who were assessed by the HSE as needing intervention had to wait more than three months for intervention.
“One child was left waiting for more than a year before having a social worker allocated.
“So Tánaiste given the seriousness of the events that took place in Tallaght and Athlone this week will your government put in place an independent inquiry to establish exactly what took place and why these children were wrongly removed from their families?”