THE mum of a three-year-old boy who was found by gardai shivering in a cabin at the back of a derelict house while she and her partner were shooting up heroin claimed she had asked social services repeatedly to take her children from her.
Gardai went searching for the boy and his sister after relatives of the mum contacted to say they had not seen the kids in months and were concerned for their welfare, a court was told.
Garda Judith Notley found the boy with his mother and the mother’s partner in a cabin at the back of a derelict house on November 24, 2017.
The cabin was surrounded by piles of rubbish and builders’ rubble. In the cabin, there was no electricity, heating or running water.
She told a previous sitting of Cork District Court: “I initially observed (child’s name). He was shivering. He was very cold. No shoes, no socks on his feet. He was wearing a very light jumper. His pants were heavily soiled.
“He was in serious and immediate danger. His guardians neglected to keep proper care of him. I placed him in the rear of the patrol car due to my concerns and my observations.‘He was highly aggressive and very distressed. He was three at the time.”
‘IMMEDIATE RISK TO CHILD’
The garda told Judge Colm Roberts the cabin was unsafe and unhygienic and that there was water spurting on to open wires.
The judge said: “Clearly, the place was unsafe, unhygienic and an immediate risk to the child.”
The mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and her partner had been given money for proper accommodation but instead used it to travel to Dublin to buy heroin.
Defending lawyer Joseph Cuddigan said the reason the young woman was pleading not guilty to the charge of child neglect was that she had repeatedly requested the child be taken off her by the State but it did not happen until the day Garda Notley found the boy in November 2017.
The judge was told by Garda Alison O’Flynn: “The social worker did not have concerns for the safety of the children at the time.”
She said the child’s mother was an active drug user at the time. Tinfoil and needles were found around the cabin.
CHILDREN NOW IN CARE
Garda O’Flynn said the defendant’s daughter was her partner’s child but he was not the father of the boy who was with them in the cabin three years ago.
The partner’s dad and granddad to the little girl said he was prepared to mind her, but not the boy as he was not a blood relative.
The mum previously told the court both her children were now in care. She had access to them and while she was off drugs, she was going into a residential treatment centre.
She hoped in time her children would be back with her. She thanked the two gardai for taking her kids into care adding if she thought gardai could do that she would have taken them to a Garda Station herself.
Judge Roberts found the facts proven and adjourned the case to today’s District Court sitting but he was not available and the matter was dealt with by Judge Marian O’Leary.
Mr Cuddigan said his client was presently in a rehabilitation facility and her treatment is expected to continue there until mid April.
Numbers for EuroMillions Tuesday, Feb 16 as €180million jackpot up for grabs
David Drumm avoids unpaid community service work for time being due to Covid
UK government refuses to intervene over Daniel Kinahan’s role in pro boxing
Government set to deliver new revised Living With Covid-19 plan next week
33 more people die with Covid-19 as 744 new cases confirmed across Republic
He said he had requested psychiatric hospital reports on his client and was promised these would be available to him on February 10, but he had yet to get them.
Judge O’Leary directed that they be made available to him and adjourned the case for mention only to April 14 next.
When there is a hearing to conclude proceedings, in May, the court has directed that social services personnel be in attendance