'Blonde girl' taken from Roma family

Published Tuesday, 22 October 2013
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A major investigation is continuing after a little girl was taken by gardaí from a Roma family in Dublin, in a case bearing similarities to that of 'Maria' in Greece.

The child, who has blonde hair and blue eyes, was removed from a house in the Tallaght area on Monday and taken into the care of the Health Service Executive.

Mick McCaffrey, Crime Correspondent with the Sunday World, told UTV that a member of the public tipped off the authorities.

"The case of Maria in Greece went around the world - people are being very diligent now," he said.

He explained that gardaí actually went as far as to contact a hospital consultant to determine if it was possible for Roma people, who typically have very dark features, to give birth to a blonde child.

"They were told it would be very unusual," Mick McCaffrey added.

The couple were asked to provide documentation for the child, aged seven - they claim she is their daughter and that she was born at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin.

Gardaí contacted the hospital, but staff could not confirm that a child of that name was born on the date given by the family.

"A decision was made to take the child while an investigation was carried out," Mick McCaffrey said.

In Greece, a Roma couple have been charged with abduction over a young blonde girl found during a police raid of their camp.

They had claimed the girl, named Maria, was their daughter - but DNA tests have proven that she is not related to the couple.

They continue to claim to have been given her legitimately.

© UTV News
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