Mother found drunk with autistic child

By Brendan Grehan

A MOTHER (32) who was found drunk in charge of her three-year-old autistic child by Gardai in Clondalkin village has been remanded for a presentence report by Blanchardstown District Court.

The woman, with an address in Clondalkin and who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge of a child under the age of seven at Main Street, Clondalkin, on September 15, 2018 contrary to Section 9 of the Summary Jurisdiction (Ireland) Act 1908.

Blanch Courthouse 4

Sergeant Maria Callaghan told Judge David McHugh that at 9.45pm on September 15 last, the gardai were called to Main Street in Clondalkin after CCTV cameras in the Garda station had observed a woman who was drunk with a baby in a push chair.

Sgt Callaghan said the Gardai found the woman to be extremely intoxicated. She said the child was brought to the child’s father to be cared for.

She said the woman had two previous convictions, at Tallaght Court in 2013 for theft and one for simple possession of drugs from 2009.

The woman’s solicitor, Kelly Breen, said her client was the mother of a three-year-old autistic child. She said the woman was embarrassed to be in court and added that her client was in a long term relationship with the child’s father.

Judge McHugh said he was not concerned at the embarrassment but he was concerned at the breach of trust in the case.

Ms Breen said TUSLA had investigated the case and deemed that no further action was necessary.

She said that on the date in question her client had been at a christening in the city centre and had been drinking. She had gone on a bus to Clondalkin and when she got off the bus “the air hit her” and she knew that she had too much to drink.

Ms Breen said her client's partner did not know about the case.

Sgt Calllaghan asked how this could be as the child had been brought to the father on the night in question. Ms Breen said the partner did not know that her client was in court.

Ms Breen said the child is now in school.

Judge McHugh said that taking into account that TUSLA had already investigated the case and deemed that no action was necessary, he said he would remand the case to a date in January for presentence report.

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