A Chicago mother says she is heartbroken after her five-year-old boy was sent back to Ireland to live with his father.

Mary Redmond and her former Irish partner Derek had battled for custody of their son Jack.

Mary Redmond told the Daily Mail: “I told Jack he has to go to Ireland for a while. Grandma will be with him, and I told him if things don’t work out, I’m just going to have to go over there. I can’t be away from him.”

Redmond added: “I expect his life in Ireland to be very confusing and hurtful to him because he doesn’t understand why I am not by his side.

His grandmother Peggy Redmond said: “He is so loved and so taken care of, and he belongs home in America, and I don’t know why America isn’t keeping him home.”

Although Jack was born in America, he has dual citizenship and is subject to Irish laws.

Although the couple never married, Derek Redmond filed for joint custody of their son after their split.

An Irish court and the World Court in Holland have both ruled that Ireland has jurisdiction over Jack’s fate.

Both courts ordered that he leave the only home he has ever known and join his father.

A United States federal judge has also ruled against 34-year-old Mary Redmond, ordering her to abide by the Irish ruling and return to Ireland to live and share custody of the boy with his father.

But Mary Redmond could face jail time in Ireland after having been found in contempt of court.

The Daily Mail reports, “When Derek Redmond filed for joint custody of his son, Mary Redmond had initially accepted the Irish’s court ruling, but instead brought her son back to the U.S.

“However, the judge’s order was for Mary Redmond to settle her affairs in Illinois and return to Ireland to live in the tiny village of Ballymurphy, and have her son attend a two-room schoolhouse.

“Under the ruling, the custodial parent would change nightly. In other words, Jack is supposed to live with his mother one night, his father the next.

“Because the 34-year old woman defied the judge’s order by refusing to return to Ireland with her son, she was held in contempt, which means that Miss Redmond will be arrested the moment she sets foot on Irish soil.”

Mary and Jack Redmond in happier times prior to 2012Family handout