12 Aug 2022

Court orders six children from midlands family be into care

Six children from Longford family taken into care

Judge issues order

A judge has given a midlands family three months to vacate a home they had been renting while also sanctioning six of the household's children to be taken into care.

Both orders were granted by Judge Seamus Hughes at a recent sitting of Longford District Court on foot of separate applications being made by the landlord and Child and Family Agency Tusla.

The court also heard how the mother of the Longford family was currently in custody, serving a sentence for shoplifting.

One of the children was also in court in connection to a separate matter after gardaí raised concerns as to his whereabouts with Sgt Enda Daly revealing the teenager had committed 21 breaches of a court imposed curfew.

The child replied, saying he was doing his level best to try and look after his father while his mother served out her time in prison.

“My father can't walk up the stairs,” he said.

Judge Hughes warned the youth he risked going back into detention unless he observed his bail terms and adjourned the case until September 17 2021.

Turning his attention to an application by the owner of the family's house to have it returned to his possession, Judge Hughes granted the order, putting a stay on its execution for a period of three months.

A ruling was also awarded to extend an interim care order for six of the family's children in order to allow “investigations” to be carried out.

In directing the order, Judge Hughes addressed the family's mother as she sat quietly in the dock.

“It might be in your best interests and it might be less of a burden to you when you come out,” he told the mother, noting Longford County Council would make “all necessary efforts” to rehouse the family.

The father of the family, who sat in the public gallery after appearing to limp into court pleaded with Judge Hughes to release his wife from custody.

“If I give €1,000 today, will you let her out on bail and she will give no more trouble?” he asked.

Turning down those requests, Judge Hughes said despite approving both applications, he did have an element of sympathy for the family's plight.

“I can see it is a very difficult situation for you,” he noted.

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