Irish parents abandon their three young children in England
Three young Irish-born children abandoned by their parents in England are to be taken home and placed in care, the High Court was told.
Ms Justice Carmel Stewart has made several orders and declarations which will result in the children, who have been cared for by English Social Services, being returned to Ireland.
The judge said she was satisfied Ireland is the children's habitual residence. The three siblings, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, are all under five years of age.
The application to repatriate the children was made by the Child and Family Agency (CFA), represented in court by barrister Felix McEnroy SC.
Mr McEnroy yesterday said all parties involved with their care were in favour of repatriating the children who had been abandoned in a neighbouring jurisdiction and plans have been put in place by the CFA for their care.
Mr McEnroy said that in 2013 the children had been taken by their parents to England. The children's father was involved in criminality in Ireland and had left for England arising out of a perceived threat to him and his wife. Counsel, who described the family's situation as chaotic, said the parents suffered from personal problems including substance abuse.
He said the family initially returned to Ireland but the children had been brought back to England last year, where the three children came to the attention of social services after the family had become homeless, and due to the parents' substance abuse.
In addition, Mr McEnroy said a scald mark had been discovered on one of the children which required hospital treatment.
After the children had been put in care in England, their parents had returned to Ireland. Attempts to find the parents had proved difficult and they had not contacted the children for some months.
The matter will come before the High Court again later this month.