The District Court made a care order in respect of an unaccompanied minor who travelled to Ireland from an African country.
The court heard that the girl had left her country in 2018 and arrived in Ireland in 2020. She left her country of origin to avoid being married to an old man who was a member of an Islamic militant group. The girl went to the International Protection Office (IPO) and they brought her to the social work department.
The court was told that it is believed that the girl had suffered childhood adversity, including trauma, neglect and emotional harm before arriving in Ireland and that she was open to speaking with a therapist.
The girl travelled through several African countries before arriving in Ireland. The court was told that she had been assaulted and imprisoned for a year in one African country that she transited through. She was released when a family member paid for her to be released.
Before arriving in Ireland, the girl was treated in Europe for pneumonia. Upon arrival in Ireland, she was diagnosed with various health concerns including urinary tract issues that were caused by female genital mutilation (FGM), which was treated.
The girl’s family were contacted through the Red Cross and an uncle was found in another African country through social media. The court was told that the girl’s father was missing and was believed to have been abducted by the Islamic militant group.
The court heard that the girl wanted to apply for family reunification as the separation from her parents and her siblings was a significant source of stress for her. Her solicitors were working on the family reunification application.
The girl had previously been placed with another family for about a year, but there had been relationship issues and the placement had broken down. The court heard that she had suffered a pseudo seizure and fainted during a fight between two other girls in that placement. She liked her current placement and got on very well with the family, but the family planned on spending six weeks in another EU country during the summer, and she said that she does not want to go to there for that long. She said that she would like to move in with a friend of hers when she turns 18.
The care order was made until she reached 18 and an aftercare review was scheduled for 2022.