Two boys, now aged seven and nine, were wrongfully removed from New York and taken to Ireland with their mother. Despite protests from their father over the development, the Supreme Court in the Emerald Isle ruled that the children would stay there, according to the Irish Times.
Though the children were both under the age of 10, the court took their opinions of where they wanted to live into consideration in the ruling.
“There is a growing understanding of the importance of listening to a child,” Chief Justice Susan Denham said in the ruling.
The court claimed that the ages of seven and nine were old enough for an individual to have attained a great enough level of maturity, a claim that was denied by the father of the children, according to the Times.
The Irish Examiner reported that the mother had left the U.S. and missed three scheduled court dates. This development led to the father being awarded custody in November 2010, but didn’t convince the Irish court that the children should be allowed to return to New York.