Almost 60% increase in child abduction cases before the High Court

The majority of cases related to abductions to or from the UK

Almost 60% increase in child abduction cases before the High Court

The Four Courts, Dublin | File photo

The High Court dealt with almost 60% more child abduction cases last year.

The latest figures show there were 41 new applications, which is 15 more than 2014.

The offence of child abduction arises when a child is removed from the person with the legal right to custody without that person's consent.

The Hague Convention on Child Abduction protects children from the harmful effects of being taken across international boundaries.

It was incorporated into Irish law in 1991, and provides a procedure - through the courts - to bring a child home as soon as possible.

Last year, the High Court dealt with 41 such applications - a 58% increase on the figures for 2014.

Fifteen children were returned to their homes outside Ireland - eight on consent and seven by court order.

Nine remained on consent and one stayed by court order.

In recent years, the majority of cases related to abductions to or from the UK and most involved the child's parents.