PARENTS

Reunited: Blonde Girl, 7, Taken From Gypsy Parents IS Their Daughter

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Reunited: Blonde girl, 7, taken into care IS the daughter of gypsy parents

A seven-year-old girl taken from a gypsy couple in Ireland has been reunited with her parents after DNA test proved she is their daughter.

The schoolgirl spent two nights in care following her removal from the family home in a south Dublin suburb on Monday.

Police seized the girl following a tip-off from a member of the public that the blonde-haired girl didn't look like her mum and dad. The parents are both relieved to have her home - and livid that she was taken.

A human rights group has called for an independent inquiry into the Irish cases. The organisation that supports the rights of Irish travellers, Pavee Point, accused the police and health officials of racial profiling.

A 21-year-old sister of the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said their mother had not eaten for three days because she was so distraught.

She said: "The most important thing now is that my sister is coming back."

The family's lawyer, Waheed Mudah, said: "Our clients are absolutely delighted that their daughter is coming home. Her removal has been a cause of huge upset to her parents, her brothers and sisters (and) to the young girl herself.

"Our clients also wish to say that they do not believe that what has happened to their family over the last few days should ever have happened.

"They believe there are very serious questions arising about the procedures used in this case, but are going to wait for this to settle and then consider their position and that of their daughter in light of recent events and will be taking legal advice in respect of this."

The girl was taken into care in the wake of the case of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Maria, who was found living with a Roma family in Greece.

There is an international hunt to find the parents of the girl, who is said to be aged between four and six years old.

DNA tests have proved that the couple with whom Maria was living, Christos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou , 40, are not her parents. They are being held on charges of abduction and document fraud.

But there are now concerns that the case has sparked hysteria that children who don't look like their parents should be treated with suspicion.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence in Ireland, Alan Shatter said: "An Garda Siochana and the HSE have to deal with very difficult situations and have to make very difficult decisions when dealing with issues of child protection. They can be open to criticism for either doing something or doing nothing.

​ "In the past, for example, the authorities have been criticised for not intervening to protect children at risk. In each of these cases, the Gardaí responded in good faith to concerns expressed to them."

A statement from police in Ireland said: "An Garda Siochana want to assure the community that we take extremely serious all reports received from members of the public concerning child welfare issues. In all cases immediate steps are taken to protect the welfare of the child in accordance with relevant statutory provisions and obligations."

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