Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

British families warned on fleeing to Republic for "sanctuary"

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A London High Court judge has warned parents who fear children might be taken into care by English or Welsh local authorities against travelling to the Republic in an attempt to seek "sanctuary".

Mr Justice Cobb said such a move was "futile" as English and Irish courts took a "similar approach" and Irish judges had "exhibited no intention" of making Ireland a "sanctuary for families from other jurisdictions".

The judge made a written ruling on a case, heard in London in the Family Division of the High Court, in which a couple said they had gone to Ireland "purposely" to avoid their child "being stolen" by a local authority which had launched care proceedings.

He said the couple's plan had "backfired" as the child had immediately been made the subject of care proceedings in Ireland.

The judge ruled the child should be returned to the jurisdiction of England and Wales – following a request from the mother.

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