The parents of a blonde-haired Roma boy taken from his family overnight have spoken of their distress at the ordeal.
The father, who has been living in Ireland for a number of years, told how gardai came to his home late yesterday evening with questions over the identity of his two-year-old son
He said his girlfriend - originally from Bucharest, Romania who is the mother of the little boy - had been extremely distressed and unable to sleep after his son was kept overnight.
Outside their home in Westmeath, the father – who cannot be identified for legal reasons - said he was extremely relieved when he got a call from the Health Services Executive (HSE) health centre telling him he could pick up the boy at midday.
He told how his son repeatedly asked him where he had been.
The father-of-two said he initially did not know what gardai were looking for and had been unaware that a young girl with blonde hair had been removed from a Roma family in Tallaght, Dublin.
The father said he was able to take his son's birth cert and give it to gardai, and immediately offered to do a DNA swab test to prove his son's lineage.
The father told of his delight that his son was born in an Irish hospital in 2011, and the family had been delighted at his features.
"I'm happy he has blue eyes and blond hair," he said, adding nurses and staff from the Health Services Executive (HSE) had called on the family since his birth.
He told how they had commented over the years that his son did have "Irish" features.