Gardaí have released a statement on the mounting controversy surrounding their decision to remove two children from their families on the basis that they weren’t the same colouring as the rest of their families.
“It’s not racism it’s strictly fashion,” said Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan. “Some colours go, some don’t. If a blonde-haired blue-eyed child is being reared by a family with sallow skin and brown hair, how can they be expected to know how to dress them properly? We’re talking about two different worlds.”
Last week, teams of gardaí consisting of members of both the Gardai Child Protection Unit and the Gardaí Fashion Police division removed children from their loving, but “colour-blind” families in both Tallaght and Athlone.
According to the Garda Síochana Style Guide, blonde and blue just don’t go with brown and to force a child to live in such abject conditions is contrary to the Children’s Referendum passed last year, which had a specific section dealing with the role of the state in colour-coding children.
“Every child has a right to be fabulous,” said Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald. “I mean, some of these people are coming from countries where they don’t even have cashmere!” Gardaí have, up until now, used their discretion in taking only blonde and blue-eyed children from families with darker colourings as they are judged to be the most at risk of growing up within the confines of a skewed colour scheme.
“It’s like mixing black and navy,” said one Tallaght officer. “The law is made up of shades of grey, but it’s important that people know what grey suits them best.” In both cases, the children were eventually returned to their families and let off with warnings to “stay fabulous”.
However, on the back of the “successes” of the first two interventions, Gardaí have plans to now seize children seen wearing navy and black at once, white socks with black shoes and all ginger children, who are considered to be another critical group as “redheads have it tough with most colours”, according to the Garda Press Office.
To combat the sickening feelings of grief that people experience when their children are taken from them, Gardaí are going to introduce a “child-swap” programme to alleviate the sense of loss. Children more “suitably coloured” to their families will be allocated to those who have had their child taken from them, as dictated by a Dulux wall chart currently being compiled in Garda Headquarters.
“We’re forever finding dark-complexioned children on the street”, said Callinan, “If these families could take in these children then everyone would win.” The Garda Commissioner said that it stood to reason that a family all of the same colouring would look “far more gorgeous” than having one child “ruining the look.” He went on to say that often, children found on the street didn’t have much clothing anyway, so families could start from scratch.
The initiative is part of the Garda overhaul planned for 2014, redefining the force on tenets from the Madonna school of policing and basing it on a policy of “looks before crooks”.