Embarrassed police in Ireland returned a blonde, blue-eyed girl to a Roma couple on Wednesday, after a DNA test confirmed the 7-year-old was the pair’s biological daughter. Acting on a tip-off from the public, police officers in Dublin had taken the girl from her home on Monday and placed her in protective care, as a similar case of an alleged kidnapping by Roma people in Greece made headlines worldwide.
An attorney acting for the Irish Roma couple — who appeared in family court on Wednesday — said they were taking time to consider legal options, CNN reports.
In a separate case, a 2-year-old boy was returned to his Roma parents in another Irish county on Wednesday, after he had also been taken into care the previous day. The Irish justice minister asked for a report on both cases, while the police said in a statement that protecting vulnerable children was of paramount importance to them, according to the BBC.
Human rights groups say discrimination against Roma communities is widespread in Europe, along with the persistent belief that the Roma are engaged in the abduction and trafficking of children.