Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Ceisteanna (313)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

431 Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will report on the status of a person, details supplied; and the Government’s policy with respect to such children. [23551/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The person referred to by the Deputy is the Irish born child of a Nigerian woman who was deported on 26 August 2004. The decision to deport was taken after the woman's case had been fully considered in the context of the Refugee Act 1996 and the Immigration Act 1999, as amended. The woman presented herself to the Garda National Immigration Bureau on the afternoon prior to her deportation without her Irish born child whose whereabouts she refused to reveal. She was accompanied back to her home by gardaí to collect her belongings but still refused to say where her Irish born child was. It was decided that, in the circumstances, the deportation would proceed without the child.

It is a matter for parents of a child who is not liable to be deported to make a decision with regard to the welfare of that child if they themselves are deported. Ordinarily, parents have a duty as well as a right to provide properly for their children's upbringing and this duty is recognised by the Constitution. If parents acting in good faith leave their children in the care and custody of another appropriate person, the State will not interfere with those arrangements so long as the decision does not amount to a failure in the duty towards their child, which would justify State intervention.