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Ireland sorry for taking blond kids from Gypsies

July 1, 2014

DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland’s prime minister has apologized to two Romanian Gypsy families who had their children temporarily removed from their homes because they were blond and blue-eyed.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s statement in parliament came as the government published a 134-page report Tuesday into police’s October 2013 seizure of a 2-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl. Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald also met with the two families in private.

The report by Ireland’s child rights official, Emily Logan, found police had no firm evidence to justify placing either child in temporary foster care. She concluded that police actions were driven by prejudice, ignorance and a European media frenzy over the alleged abduction of a blonde-haired girl by a Roma family in Greece.

The Greek case also proved to be a false alarm.

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