A BINGE-DRINKING mother left her two young children abandoned at home alone for more than 16 hours while she went on a bender.
The woman (40) left her children, aged nine and six, on their own at their west Dublin home on two occasions to go on drinking sessions lasting several days.
The second time, she did not show up a garda station to ask about their welfare until the following day.
The woman pleaded guilty at Blanchardstown District Court to four counts of neglecting her children at her home on dates in 2009 and 2010.
Garda Grainne Callanan told the court the woman left her house on the first occasion at 8.30pm. Following a call over another matter, gardai went to the house at 11.25pm and found the children home alone.
The mother presented herself to her local garda station at 2.50am inquiring about her children. On the later date, gardai were contacted by a neighbour at 11.25pm and when they called to the house they again found the children home alone.
The woman, who had left the children at 7pm, did not make any contact with the gardai or social services until the following afternoon.
She was now serving a sentence for a separate offence.
Defence solicitor Valerie Buckley said the accused had left the house key with a "good neighbour". The neighbour had access to the house and the defendant indicated that "she had to leave".
When asked if this was the case, Garda Callanan replied that the neighbour had refused to make a statement.
In relation to the later incident, Ms Buckley said the accused had been attending court around that time.
The woman, a foreign national, had moved to Ireland more than 10 years ago and her children were now in foster care. She had "severe alcohol issues".
She had access to her children. The judge adjourned the case for the production of a probation report "to see what was going on".