There were 64 cases of children being abducted from Ireland last year


September 12 , 2014

Source: thejournal.ie

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE dealt with 109 new cases of child abduction last year, 45 relating to children entering the country and 64 leaving.

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The department acts as the Central Authority for International Child Abduction and its annual report says that, in total, they dealt with 208 new cases last year.

This total also includes cases of  care orders and access applications as well as international child placements.

Including ongoing cases, the authority dealt with a total of 346 cases in 2013.

The abductions related primarily to suspected parental child abductions according to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

“Parental child abduction is a growing problem globally reflecting the greater mobility of people around the world and all the consequences of this,” she said today.

Ireland is no different and it is important that we are proactive in working with central authorities in other states in resolving complaints regarding international parental child abductions where they arise.

About half of the cases dealt with last year related to abductions to or from the United Kingdom.

Of the 138 ongoing cases of child abduction, 51 were incoming and 87 were outgoing.

Upon the publication of the report, Fitzgerald said that she hoped many cases could be resolved by families themselves but added that, in most cases, legal remedies are required.

“The resolution of issues around parental child abduction is usually by international law,” she said. “But I would encourage any family to try to resolve their differences before such situations arise and avail of the services available to mediate solutions in the best interest of the children and all those involved.”

Fitzgerald advised families that the Family Mediation Service in the Legal Aid Board can help families reach agreement without having to resort to court.

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Ireland – RIRA gang kidnap then shoot man


May 21, 2013

Source: Irish Herald

THE Real IRA abducted and shot a man in a brutal punishment attack in Dublin.

THE Real IRA abducted and shot a man in a brutal punishment attack in Dublin.

Ronan Connolly (28) was kidnapped at gunpoint by a gang and then bundled into a van.

When he attempted to escape, his captors opened fire. Sources say the incident was a “punishment beating” which spiralled out of control.

Connolly is the younger brother of a leading RIRA member who is behind bars facing murder charges. Detectives in the capital are now on high alert after the incident in Inchicore on Tuesday night.

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Panicked

Connolly escaped serious injury when his captors apparently panicked and fled.

The abduction is linked to a campaign by dissident terrorists who are targeting former associates as part of a “clean-up” of the illegal organisation. “This incident falls very much into the narrative of the so-called revamp of the Real IRA,” a senior source explained.

“They are carrying out kidnappings, beatings and shootings in an attempt to get rid of those who they no longer trust.”

Connolly, who has numerous convictions and is from Bluebell, Dublin, was abducted in Inchicore at around 10.30pm on Tuesday. The gang tied his hands together with wire and brought him around 12km to the Slade Road in Saggart.

After attempting to escape, Connolly was shot. The gang then fled the scene, allowing Connolly to raise the alarm. Paramedics arrived on the scene and he was treated for gunshot wounds to his hand. Sources say the abduction of Ronan Connolly was orchestrated to send a firm message to his older brother, Sean.

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The 34-year-old is the chief suspect in the murder of gang boss Eamon Kelly, who was gunned down near his home on Furry Park Road, Killester, in December. He is being held in Portlaoise Prison awaiting trial.

Sean Connolly attempted to take control of the Real IRA in Dublin following the death of notorious gangster Alan Ryan last October. However, his attempt to rise to the top of the organisation alarmed senior figures in the North.

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Ireland / Malaysia – Mother’s fears over custody battle


Source: UTV News

A Co Tyrone mother whose child is trapped in an in international custody battle has told UTV she fears she will never see her son again.

Tracey McCay’s six-year-old son Sean was taken to Singapore last week by his father David.

The couple split acrimoniously while holidaying in Indonesia, but when Tracey returned to Singapore she realised the terms under which she had entered the country meant she had little or no parental rights.

See the Video here: UTV News

“I was in a foreign country. I had no friends, no family. I was really scared and I just felt I should have done my research,” she said.

“What people don’t realise is that obviously although you’re residents of a foreign country you’re not entitled to the same laws as what you’re used to back home.”

After a month battling her former partner, Tracey saw her son and she said her little boy was “confused and excited” at the same time.

“Once he saw me he just went ‘Mummy!’. He was just so excited to see me and I was so excited to see him and I just had to hold back tears,” she explained, “but it was just really nice and we just cuddled and kissed and just stuff like that, and he said ‘Mummy, I really miss you and where have you been?'”

“I’ve never been away from him for that long. I’ve always been with him and then Sean left and not knowing when I would see him again.”

Tracey began custody proceedings in Northern Ireland when she returned home and although Sean was in the region for Christmas he was taken away again by two police officers on Christmas Eve after the Lord Chief Justice ruled against Tracey because of the ongoing legal issues in Singapore.

She said it “broke [her] heart” when she had to give him back before Christmas Day.

“We kissed and we cuddled. It was just really, really nice. But when the police came I had to make it nice for Sean. I didn’t want him to be scared and when he was getting into the police car I was just saying goodbye to him and cuddling him.”

Although Sean has been taken back to Singapore by his father, Tracey said she will fight on for her rights as a mother.

“I have to go back to Singapore and fight in Singapore. And then I’ve been told by my lawyer in Singapore that I have to fight over here. So I’m left with no options at all where to fight.”

She told UTV her greatest fear is “that I’ll never see Sean again”.

The solicitor acting for Sean’s father, David McCay, issued a statement which reads:

“The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland returned the child to our client’s care and custody on Christmas Eve.

“As arranged our client and the child returned to Singapore on the 28th December. As the parents and child reside in Singapore, all issues we understand are being dealt with there.

“Our client strongly refutes any suggestion he has acted improperly.”

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International Parental Child Abduction : Fathers pay price when mothers take children


Source: Irish Times – Irishtimes.com

JOHN WATERS

DESPITE ONE-THIRD of births occurring in non-marital relationships, unmarried Irish fathers remain deeply ignorant of their legal situation.

Under Irish law, such fathers have no automatic right to the day-to-day care of their children (“custody”) or to a say in the upbringing of their children (“guardianship”). What they have is the right to apply to a court, which may then extend rights of guardianship and custody according to the nature of the relationship between the child and the father, a matter almost invariably dictated by the attitude and behaviour of the gatekeeper-mother.

Although mischievous agents propose that the high numbers of Irish unmarried fathers neglecting to apply for guardianship is evidence of indifference, the fact is that many fathers, reluctant to initiate legal proceedings that might create a conflict where none exists, tend to leave well alone.

This leads to extreme difficulties when mothers abduct children to other jurisdictions and fathers find themselves bereft of legal standing.

Almost all European countries now make legal provision for the concept of the “de facto family” – which extends legal recognition in situations in which unmarried parents and their children have lived together in quasi-marital situations. This can enable an unmarried father who has no formal guardianship order to invoke the Hague Convention in the event that his child is abducted. Irish law is noticeably out of step in the recognition of such “inchoate rights”.

The man in the street may attribute this circumstance to oversight. Alas, it arises from the ideological outlook of the Irish State, which is determined to withhold from unmarried fathers anything but the most minimal recognition forced upon it by international law.

The lay person, too, might surmise that, all things being equal, the objective of the Irish State will always be to strive towards just and equitable resolutions, subject only to whatever legal impediments may arise.

Alas, in abduction situations where the abductor is the mother, such an assumption would be mistaken.

In fact, the pattern of behaviour by the Irish central authority in these matters – ie the Department of Justice – is to turn its back on fathers whose children have been abducted, even when the destination country is reluctant to accept jurisdiction.

This policy became clear over the past 18 months, in a case arising from the refusal of a mother to bring her two children back to Ireland after a summer holiday in New York. For six years the father had lived in Ireland with his children, in virtually every respect as though married to the mother. In August 2010, the mother told him she and their two children would remain in New York, where she was moving in with a man she had met on Facebook.

The children had been born in New York, which meant that the father was their legal guardian under US law. He had the right to apply to a New York court, but felt that to do so would be to acquiesce in what had happened.

He wished to have the matter adjudicated in Ireland, where his children had lived almost all their lives. He approached the Department of Justice but was told that, since he did not have guardianship here, there was no legal recourse under the Hague Convention.

Proceedings were initiated in New York by the mother, while the father began seeking guardianship under Irish law. In November 2010, he was granted a guardianship order. Because this application was initiated within a statutory six-month period stipulated by New York law – in effect confirming the children were for legal purposes still habitually resident in Ireland – and since the father continued to reside here, the New York court ruled that the case should be determined by the Irish courts.

All that was required was for an Irish court to issue a temporary custody order in favour of the father, and the New York court could have ordered the return of the children here.

The next step was to persuade the Irish court to do the decent thing. Three hearings, in August, October and November 2011, were adjourned in turn because the judge was away. Although it was implicit in the New York decision that, by issuing a guardianship order, the Irish court had already accepted jurisdiction, the Irish judge refused to communicate with his counterpart in New York.

Instead, in the end, he wrote to the New York court handing over jurisdiction, unwittingly confirming that, contrary to the assertions of the Department of Justice, the Irish court already had jurisdiction. Thus, in December, this Irish father was forced to surrender to the jurisdiction of an American court.

These Irish proceedings, involving 12 court appearances and nine different judges over 15 months, cost this father more than €20,000.

For years I have been meeting men like this, trying to help them deal with the inscrutable processes that “legal advice” forbids me from describing in the only terms I can adequately and reasonably describe them.

I observe with dismay that things are growing worse, not just in the treatment of such men and their children, but even more ominously in the studied avoidance of these matters by other journalists who make much of calling authority to account except here, where the sleep of justice is more implacable than anywhere else.

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Irish mother faces International battle


Source: Strabane Chronicle

A STRABANE woman locked in a bitter international custody battle says she fears she may never see her son again.

Tracey McCay’s incredible story came to a head on Christmas Eve when a Belfast Court ordered her to hand her six-year-old son Sean over to her husband.
Husband David has since returned to their adopted home of Singapore with Sean, leaving Tracey practically penniless and homeless.
The 37-year-old told the Strabane Chronicle this week that she now fears she may never see her son again.
Tracey says her nightmare began ten weeks ago while she and her accountant husband David were holidaying in Indonesia.
Following a bust-up on the island of Batam, Tracey claims she awoke to find her husband had fled with her son, taking with him her passport and travel documents.

After contacting the immigration authorities, Tracey eventually managed to get back to Singapore where she contacted her solicitor.
Because she has only lived in Asia since May and her Visa rights depend heavily on her husband’s job, she was advised to return to Northern Ireland and fight for custody here.
On December 22 the estranged couple came face to face for a custody hearing in Belfast.
Tracey won her battle only to have it over-turned on appeal two days later.
On Christmas Eve she broke down in tears in court as Sean was taken from her and handed over to her husband. The father and son have since returned to Singapore.
Speaking from a women’s refuge in Belfast, Tracey appealed for help from anyone with knowledge of international law.

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UK riots spread from London to Liverpool, Birmingham and Belfast


Rioting broke out in the English cities of Liverpool and Birmingham as the worst violence in London in years threatened to spread to the rest of the country on Tuesday.

West Midlands Police confirmed they had made 87 arrests as youths ran amok in Birmingham centre overnight, smashing shop windows and looting merchandise.

The force also said that a police station in the central England city was on fire.

Meanwhile, Merseyside Police confirmed Tuesday they were dealing with unrest in the northwestern city of Liverpool with several cars set alight.

“We will not tolerate any violence on the streets of Liverpool and have taken swift and robust action in response,” police spokesman Andy Ward said.

Riots have been ongoing in London since Saturday night after protests against the death of a man in a police shooting turned violent, but Monday saw an escalation in hostilities.

Fire engulfed many areas of the capital as police fought pitched battles with thousands of looters and gangs of youths in the third day of serious disorder.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/riots+spread+from+London+Liverpool+Birmingham/5224524/story.html#ixzz1UUQh5jCq

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Ireland: Slight fall in child abduction cases


By: JAMIE SMYTH, Irishtimes.com

Irish authorities received 136 new cases of child abduction in 2009, a slight drop on the number of cases notified a year earlier.

In 75 of these cases a child or children were taken from the Republic against the wishes of a parent or guardian. The remaining 61 cases involve a child or children brought into the State by a parent or guardian, who may not have the legal right to custody.

Some 183 children are caught up in these abduction cases, which have been referred to the Central Authority for Child Abduction within the Department of Justice.

New figures released by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern today show 53 cases involve children being abducted from or to England and Wales. Poland (16), Northern Ireland (9) and Latvia (8) are the other countries with a large number of abduction cases.

The Central Authority for Child Abduction also carried over 86 abduction cases from 2008, which had not been dealt with. This meant it processed 222 cases last year, which were dealt with under various international legal conventions aimed at returning children who have been removed from one state to another without consent.

Half of the 222 cases dealt with children brought to the Republic. In seven cases the High Court ordered the return of the children to the country from where they were taken. In five cases the High Court refused the return of the children and in 16 cases the children were voluntarily returned or the parties reached an agreement.

There were 52 cases awaiting resolution at the end of 2009.

In 10 of the 111 outgoing cases, where children were taken from Ireland without consent, foreign courts ordered their return. In three cases the foreign court refused the return of the child and in six cases the children were either voluntarily returned or an agreement was reached. At the end of 2009 some 39 cases were still awaiting resolution.

More than half of the 222 applications dealt by the Central Authority for Child Abduction in 2009 were made under the Hague Convention, which is designed to ensure the immediate return of children who have been removed from one contracting state to another. This usually occurs when a parent defies the wishes of the other parent.

The convention is based on the principle that the custody of a child should be decided by courts in the state in which the child habitually resides.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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