Woman who moved to Ireland to ‘escape social workers’ loses court ruling

A woman who left her home in England when pregnant and travelled to Ireland to “escape the clutches” of social workers has lost the latest stage of a family court fight.

The woman and her partner said they were settled in Ireland and wanted decisions about the future of their daughter, who is now several months old, made in Irish family courts.

However, a judge in Ireland concluded the girl had a “UK nationality and identity”, and said the case should be overseen in England, and a judge based in the Family Division of the High Court in England has now backed that decision after reviewing evidence.

Mr Justice Francis has said, in a ruling following a private hearing in London, that it is in the girl’s best interests for decisions to be made by an English judge.

He said the couple left England after seeing another child taken from their care.

“The parents travelled to Ireland when they knew that the mother was pregnant,” said Mr Justice Francis in his ruling.

“It seems that they admitted at some point … that they did this to escape the clutches, if I can call it that, of the local authority or local authorities in (England).”

He added: “I am completely satisfied that it is in (the girl’s) best interests for this case to be transferred to England.”

The judge did not identity anyone involved or say where the family lived.

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