A Roma gypsy family are to sue the Irish state after their child was taken from them by police who thought he was stolen.
The family’s lawyers have confirmed their action after two-year-old Iancu Mantean Jnr was removed from his home in Athlone last October.
His parents Iancu Snr and Loredana Sava produced a birth certificate for the youngster who had blond hair and blue eyes because he was albino.
Officers still took the child into care for a day before a national outcry preceded his return home.
Dad Iancu told the Irish Sun: “I said to the guards, ‘Please, my son is sick, he has a little bit albino, please don’t make him sad.’ It is wrong why they take my kid.”
The Athlone incident occurred just days after a girl was wrongly taken from a Roma family in the Dublin suburb of Tallaght.
The Irish Sun reports that legal papers have now been filed in the High Court on behalf of Iancu and parents, Iancu Snr and Loredana Sava.
They are suing Ireland’s Justice Minister, police commissioner and the State for damages for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, emotional suffering and breaches of human and constitutional rights.
Lawyer Paul Connellan said: “The family have been left upset and angry by what has happened. They never received an apology to this day.”