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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

High Court backs Irish social workers in family court litigation

Written by Brian Farmer

A woman who left Wales and travelled to the Republic of Ireland when pregnant after her first son was taken into council care is facing fresh family court litigation in Britain.

Social services staff in the Republic of Ireland say decisions about the future of the woman's second son, who was born in Dublin three years ago and lives with foster carers, should be made by a family court judge in Wales.

A High Court judge in London has given his approval.

Mr Justice Williams agreed to the case being transferred to Britain after analysing an application from The Child and Family Agency (Ireland).

Lawyers representing the agency said a family court judge based in Wales had ruled that the woman's first son should be taken from her care after he was admitted to hospital with a number of injuries four years ago.

They indicated that the woman and the children's father had links to Wales.

Irish judges had also examined the case and concluded that, although the younger boy had been born in Dublin and spent his life in the Republic of Ireland, he had a "particular connection" to Wales.

Detail of the case has emerged in a written ruling published by Mr Justice Williams following a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in June.

Mr Justice Williams said the family involved could not be identified.

He said Judge Gareth Jones, who hears cases in Wrexham, had decided that the woman's first son should be placed for adoption after the youngster suffered "multiple soft tissue and bone injuries" in 2014.

Judge Jones had concluded that either the woman or the boy's father had "inflicted" injuries and said there had been a "failure to protect".

The woman had become pregnant again and travelled to the Republic of Ireland in March 2015.

She had given birth to her second son in Dublin shortly afterwards and had agreed to the baby being placed with foster carers pending decisions about his long-term future.

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