Irish police take child from Roma couple

The four-year-old girl, reportedly named Maria, at the centre of the case in Greece. Picture: Getty

The four-year-old girl, reportedly named Maria, at the centre of the case in Greece. Picture: Getty

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A young girl living with a Roma family in Dublin has been taken into care by Irish police amid concerns over her identity.

Police were called to a house in Tallaght in south county Dublin on Monday afternoon after receiving a report the blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl was living there with a Roma family.

When police went to the home in the west of the city to investigate, the couple told officers the girl, who is aged around six or seven, was their biological daughter.

The couple, from Romania, said the girl had been born in 2006. But a birth certificate was deemed inconclusive and a passport with a baby’s picture could not be matched to the child.

She was taken from the family home to hospital for medical tests. DNA tests have yet to confirm that the couple she was found with are not her parents.

News of the case emerged after authorities in Greece charged a Roma couple with child abduction after a DNA test proved that the girl, known only as Maria, was not related to Christos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40.

Yesterday, Greece’s top court also ordered an urgent investigation into birth certificates issued in the past six years.

In Ireland yesterday, activists expressed concern the case could lead to a “witch hunt”. Many Roma in the country already suffer racism and discrimination and have no rights to work or access to welfare

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