More Tusla referrals on mother who neglected children

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Portlaoise Courthouse meeting annoys Laois councillors

Two new referrals have been made to Tusla concerning a 30-year-old woman who is before Portlaoise District Court on child neglect charges.

The woman and her husband, a 31-year-old male, were both charged with three counts of neglecting a child, at a location in Laois on May 13/14, 2018.

On that date, gardaí discovered a ten-month-old baby and a two-year-old child alone in the house unsupervised.

The ten-month-old was saturated in urine and the two-year-old was smeared in faeces. There were dirty nappies strewn around and open alcohol containers in the house, as well as evidence of cocaine use.

Fluid was leaking from the ceiling, which was caused by rubbish upstairs. The woman had left the house the night before, leaving the children with the man. Others then arrived at the house for a party.

The children were subsequently taken into the care of the State, but because of a change in the couple’s circumstances the children are now back with them and the family are living in a hotel in Dublin.

The case, which Judge Catherine Staines described as “one of the worst cases of child neglect I’ve ever seen,” has been before the court on a number of occasions and on the last date, October 3, the male was put on a 12-month probation bond, while the woman’s case was adjourned for an up to date report.

At today’s (Thursday, November 14) court, barrister, Ms Louise Troy said the accused was not present as her waters had broken the night before and she was now in hospital.

Judge Staines noted that the matter had been adjourned for a report, and since then there had been two new referrals to the child protection services concerning the accused. Judge Staines said the accused is now having another baby and is living in homeless accommodation, although the report indicated the accused was engaging with certain services.

Judge Staines requested a section 20 report from Tusla, saying she would like to know what was alleged in the new referrals.

The matter was adjourned to February 20, 2020.