herald

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Judge decides baby girl must stay in care of HSE

A ONE-year-old Roma girl is to remain in HSE care after a judge said there was "deeply disturbing" evidence of her mother's inability to protect and meet the baby's needs.

When the mother and child went to Temple Street Hospital last June, staff were concerned about the baby's diet and hygiene and because she had serious nappy rash, Mr Justice George Birmingham said in the High Court.

The mother, in her 20s, said she could only change the nappy twice a day due to financial constraints and was breast feeding the child. While the hospital had referred the mother, child and the mother's then partner to the public health nurse, the family left their accommodation at that time.

In July, after the mother went to a Dublin garda station saying she could not get accommodation, the baby was placed in voluntary care. The woman, who received treatment in St James's Hospital, later sought the baby back and wanted to return with her to Romania.

Other concerns were that the mother, despite having mouth ulcers, was pre-chewing food and giving it to the child and had been sleeping rough for a time.

VIOLENCE

She also told social workers in August that she and the child had been subject to violence by her former partner, who is not the child's father. She is no longer with that man and no longer sleeping rough.

Mr Justice Birmingham said it would have been "a dereliction of duty" on the part of the HSE had it permitted the child to return with her mother to Romania.

The District Court was entitled to conclude there was no basis to direct the interim care order be discharged.

hnews@herald.ie

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