Irish police raided the home of a Gypsy family living in a Dublin suburb and took a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl in their care away. The incident comes on the heels ofin Greece involving a girl believed to be 4 years old named "Maria."
The 7-year-old girl in Ireland was brought to the attention of authorities by a member of the public who was concerned she looked nothing like her alleged siblings, reports Sky News. The youngster, who has not been named, was taken from the family in Dublin and is now being cared for by Ireland's Health Services Executive.
The Sunday World newspaper in Ireland reported police asked for a birth certificate from the child's guardians and they could not initially provide one. Officials then asked a hospital consultant if it was possible for a Gypsy family to give birth to a child so different looking, and were told it "would be extremely unusual."
The alleged parents then claimed the child was born in Coombe hospital in Dublin in April 2006, but when contacted the hospital said they had no record matching their claims, the Sunday World reports. Eventually, a birth certificate and passport were produced, but Irish officials decided they were inconclusive, so the child was taken into custody.
The Greek Gypsy community immediately an accusation often hurled at Europe's Gypsies.when broke. The Greek couple looking after Maria has been accused of stealing or trafficking children,
CBS News correspondent Holly Williamsin Greece where Maria was found and spoke to neighbors. They were adamant that Maria wasn't trafficked or stolen. They also allege discrimination is involved in this case.
Europe's Gypsies, also known as Roma, are the largest ethnic minority in Europe, numbering an estimated 7 to 9 million people.