A family dispute involving an Irish-Maltese child has led an Irish MP to demand the two-year-old be flown back to Ireland.
According to the Irish Times, the two-year-old boy was taken from his mother’s arms by armed members of the French gendarmerie in May, while an appeal against that court-ordered removal remains pending.
The mother, who on Facebook lists a Maltese real estate agency as her place of work, told the Irish news outlet that she had been unaware that the child’s father had taken legal action to bring the child back to Malta.
The case has now been taken up by Fianna Fáil MP Cathal Crowe.
He called on the Irish government to intervene, saying the toddler holds an Irish passport.
“We do need something said politically on this case,” Mr Crowe said.
The baby was born to the Irish woman and her Maltese then-boyfriend in Malta in December 2019 and holds Maltese citizenship.
Last December, the two parents and their child travelled from Malta to France. The mother remained in France with her son after she and the child's father argued.
The father says she did so without his consent.
Robert Thake, a Maltese lawyer representing the father, says that the mother “fled” with her child.
Thake filed for a return of the child order under the Hague Abduction Convention, a treaty that deals with cases when a parent takes a child to another jurisdiction without the consent of the other parent.
He was successful in that legal bid, with a court ruling that the mother effectively "lived in Malta" and that the child had a "large family and stable home" in the country.
The court also ordered a ban on the publication of the child's name or any details that may lead to the child being identified.
She has appealed that ruling, but French police officers executed the order six days later, taking the child away and returning him to his father in Malta.
Irish MP Crowe said the case was extremely distressing and called on Ireland's department of foreign affairs to offer the woman its assistance.
A spokesperson for that department told the Irish Times that it does not comment on individual cases but “is aware of this case and has provided advice to the citizen."
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