Shannon Cowan, the 14-year-old schoolgirl who refused to return to Ireland after seeking refuge with her Mormon half-sister in the US state of Utah, is believed to be back home with her mother in Dublin this weekend.

Shannon's adult half-sister Melita Carter had obtained a temporary protective order in the Utah courts against their mother Caroline Cowan, alleging they were both physically abused while under her care.

This was granted by the court in the city of Provo, Utah, and prevented her mother from taking Shannon back home.

But Caroline Cowan also made an emotional plea on RTÉ radio for her daughter's return, and has expressed concern that the Mormons in Utah were trying to brainwash her daughter.

According to local media reports in Provo, Shannon was taken out of her high-school class on Wednesday after the temporary protective order was dismissed by the courts there.

Another judge then issued a "pick-up" order to return the girl to her father, Ian, and a temporary restraining order against Carter.

Shannon is believed to have been put on an early flight with her father last Thursday morning to Dublin.

Carter and her husband Chas told Provo's Daily Herald newspaper that they were in the process of seeking legal guardianship over the 14-year-old.

Carter alleged that the teen was physically abused by her mother when she lived in Ireland, and that she had confided this to her after she came to spend the summer holidays with her in Utah.

Carter lived with her mother in Dublin before moving to Utah at the age of 12 to live with her father. She claimed she was also abused by her mother while under her care.

Carter also told the newspaper that she intended to go to Ireland to fight for her half sister, and said she feared for her sister's safety here.

"If I could get the money, I'd be on the exact same flight [as Shannon]," Carter told the Daily Herald. "There is nothing that I've done illegally in my eyes… All I was doing was trying to protect my sister and keep her safe."