Roma family has agreed to co-operate in DNA tests to establish whether or not child belongs to them
A Roma family in the Irish Republic insists that the girl seized from them by the Garda on Tuesday is their child.
It is understood the family have agreed to fully co-operate in DNA tests that will over the next 48 hours establish whether or not the child belongs to them.
They are said to be adamant that the child belongs to them and that the tests will prove this.
The girl, believed to be around seven, was dramatically seized from the family home in Tallaght, west Dublin on Monday afternoon but details of the Garda operation were not disclosed until Tuesday.
She is currently in the care of Ireland's Health Service Executive under Section 12 of the Republic's Child Care Act.
Her parents told Gardai that the child had been born in Dublin but officers who visited the house were not satisfied with the documentation the couple produced.
The child was removed from the family because her features – blonde hair and blue eyes, were different from the other children in the home.
Meanwhile the executive director of the European Roma Rights Centre expressed concern about the way the incident in Dublin was being reported as well as the portrayal of the Roma in general since the incident in Greece when a child, known as Maria, was seized from another family last week.
Dezideriu Gergely said: "The concern related to these cases is that, one way or another, if these cases are not discussed from all angles possible, there's this, if I can say, trap to fall into, basically labelling the whole community for being responsible for something which needs to be looked at from an individual point of view and responsibility point of view."
The centre's concern over the portrayal of the entire Roma community follows warnings on Tuesday from the Pavee Point human rights group in Dublin that racist elements might exploit both cases.
Aisling Twomey, a spokesperson for the Dublin based Roma and Irish Traveller rights group said: "This specific case could be used as a means to target the Roma community when the reality is that they are one of the most marginalised communities, not just in Ireland, but worldwide.
"In this particular case, the welfare of the child must be foremost in everyone's mind and correct procedures will doubtless be applied to ensure this child's safety and welfare is paramount. Right now, that should be the concern."
On the incident fanning deeper anti-Roma sentiment in the state, she added: "This possibility exists in all cases of a sensitive nature, and this one is no different. In the event that a crime has occurred, Pavee Point would of course support the prosecution of punishment of such a crime without doubt.
"However, using this case as a platform for intolerance is not an option and does a disservice to the Roma community, service providers who work with them, and the population of Ireland who have welcomed them for so many years."
There are around 5,000 Roma immigrants in Ireland with the majority of them living in Dublin. The European commission has criticised the republic for failing to integrate the Roma fully into Irish society.
On the island of Ireland Roma have faced far more overt hostility north of the border. In June 2009 up to 110 Roma immigrants including young children were driven out of their homes in south Belfast following a prolonged campaign of intimidation by racists from their nearby loyalist "Village" area.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013