Police have removed a seven-year-old blonde girl from a gypsy family in Dublin, it has been revealed.
The parents insisted the child was their daughter, but officers were not satisfied with the explanation or with the documents that were produced and took the girl into care until her identity can be established one way or the other.
The saga unfolded after police had been told by a member of the public that a six or seven-year-old girl was living with a large Roma family and looked nothing like any of her siblings.
Officers called at a house in Tallaght on Monday afternoon where they saw a number of children, including the seven-year-old girl who has blonde hair and blue eyes.
The Sunday World reported that a birth certificate was believed to have eventually been produced but officers were not satisfied with it.
The paper reported that although the couple claimed the child was born in the Coombe hospital in Dublin in 2006, the hospital had no record of the child being born on the date quoted by the parents.
The child was removed from the family under powers in the Child Care Act. It is understood the child is now in the care of the Health Service Executive.
It is believed it will make an application to the courts for a temporary care order.
There are 5,000 Roma people living in Ireland, both north and south. No-one has been arrested and police are remaining cautious.
The girl will remain in care until it can be proved if the child belongs to the parents, as they insist.
Last week a young blonde girl called Maria was found during a raid on a Roma camp in central Greece.
A Roma couple have been formally charged with abducting the girl and have been placed in detention pending a trial. DNA tests showed that she was not related to the couple, but they insist she was given to them legitimately.