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Mary and Jack Redmond Photo by: Family handout

Tug of Love toddler sent back to Ireland without his mother

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Mary and Jack Redmond Photo by: Family handout

Mr. Redmond’s lawyer said that his client had not had the opportunity to defend himself on the abuse allegations when that finding was issued.

The Cook County decision also found that the Irish court had jurisdiction over Jack’s custody because Mr. Redmond filed in Ireland for both custody and guardianship- equivalent to American parental rights for an illegitimate child -within six months of his son’s initial permanent departure from Ireland.

Ms. Redmond returned with Jack to Ireland in 2008, to collect her personal belongings, according to statements to the courts and to the Irish Voice.

But while in Ireland, Ms. Redmond also consulted a community welfare officer in Co. Carlow, according to the federal court record. Ms. Redmond’s legal team stated in the federal case that during the meeting, Ms. Redmond asked about maintenance payments for her son. Mr. Redmond’s legal team stated that the application was for “periodic payments” from HSE Community Welfare in Ireland, which Ms. Redmond and her child would have to reside in Ireland to receive, according to the federal record.

Planning to leave the country before Derek’s custody hearing, Ms. Redmond was stopped at  Dublin airport by Gardai on April 8, 2008, as per an ex parte Order requested by Mr. Redmond. Ms. Redmond was allowed to leave the country after the hearing.

A complex legal battle ensued in the Irish Court system as to whether Ireland had the jurisdiction to decide custody for Jack, which the Irish High Court decided it had in November 2008.

In January 2009, Ms. Redmond acknowledged the Irish court’s jurisdiction over the matter and applied for permission to remove her son permanently to the US.

Her application was heard at the same time as Mr. Redmond’s custody request. The Irish court consulted a family therapist/psychologist, who interviewed the child, both parents, the parents’ siblings, and the child’s grandparents, according to court documents. The psychologist recommended that Jack live in Ireland and have an ongoing relationship with both parents.

At this time, Ms. Redmond swore under oath that she would return to Ireland with Jack by March 2011. She admitted to the federal court last month that she never had any intention of keeping that promise, according to federal court documents.

Ms. Redmond instead filed for sole custody in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

The Illinois court granted Ms. Redmond’s request for an emergency order of protection against Mr. Redmond, based on Ms. Redmond’s testimony that Mr. Redmond had threatened her life, dangerously held their child by his neck, and removed the child from the care of a babysitter and driven the child without a car seat while intoxicated. Mr. Redmond was not present for the proceedings to defend himself against the allegations.

The order of protection solely applied to Ms. Redmond’s stated fear that Mr. Redmond would abduct the child while court proceedings were still ongoing in Illinois, but was extended briefly to allow for Ms. Redmond to apply for a similar protection in an Irish court, which Ms. Redmond has not sought.

Mary Redmond told the Irish Voice that she worried Derek would abuse her son upon his arrival in Ireland.

“I just don’t want [Derek] hurting this little boy,” she said.

Mr. Redmond’s lawyer said that the abuse allegations had been considered by the social worker in the Irish investigation, and that the “court didn’t have a concern about it.”

The Illinois court also acknowledged the Irish court’s jurisdiction in the matter, as Mr. Redmond filed for custody within six months of his son leaving Ireland, before the child’s residence in Illinois could be legally habitual.

Mr. Redmond filed a petition for his child to be returned to Ireland under the Hague Convention on December 1, 2011.

The Hague’s June 19, 2012 decision required both Ms. Redmond and her child to return to Ireland; the judge said verbally, according to Ms. Redmond’s lawyer, that another family member could accompany the child.

“Hague proceedings aren’t to determine the best interests of the child, they are to determine jurisdiction,” Mr. Redmond’s lawyer told the Irish Voice. The Hague’s decision verifies that Ireland has jurisdiction over the case, which makes the 2011 order for Jack to reside in Ireland valid.

Schaffer, Mr. Redmond’s lawyer, said he would consider allowing his client to speak with Irish Voice reporters once his client’s son lands safely in Ireland.

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