'Ethnic profiling' played part in confiscation of Roma children, claims solicitor

Emily Logan, Children's Ombudsman.

The solicitor for a Roma family whose child was wrongfully taken from them last year says he believes racial profiling played a role in the decision.

Two-year-old Iancu Muntean was removed from his home in Athlone, Co Westmeath, last October.

A seven-year-old girl was also taken from her parents' care in Dublin at around the same time, and weekend newspaper reports claimed a report into the cases will find that ethnic profiling played a role.

However, Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan is not expected to find that Gardaí involved had any prejudicial beliefs towards the Roma community.

Paul Connellan is the Muntean family solicitor and he has questioned whether the same thing would have happened to an Irish family.

He said: "My own personal view is that it wouldn't have happened.

"I definitely think that there was an element of ethnic profiling involved in the decision that was taken. We still don’t know the source of the information that the Gardaí were acting upon."

The Education Minister says the Cabinet will address the issue saying the Government will be advised upon whether an apology to the two families would be suitable in due course.

He says the Cabinet will address all concerns relating to the Gardaí in recent months, including those of the Roma children.

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