The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., has now received reports from the Garda Commissioner on the removal of two Roma children.

The Minister has already indicated his intention to refer these reports to the Ombudsman for Children in the context of his proposal to appoint her in accordance with section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended by section 42 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007) to conduct an inquiry.

It is now necessary under the legislation to draw up terms of reference for the proposed inquiry and, to ensure that the terms of reference are appropriate, it is necessary for the Minister to study the reports which have been submitted to him. This process is now under way and in the coming days he hopes to finalise terms of reference, and make the necessary arrangements, with the Ombudsman for Children, as well as provide her with the reports, so that she may undertake her inquiry in relation to the role of An Garda Síochána in these cases. In the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment on what the reports from the Garda Commissioner contain.

8 November, 2013