A passenger on a bus rang the gardaí when she witnessed a drunken mother assault her four-year-old son.
Gardaí arrested the 26-year-old mother, who cannot be identified to protect the child’s identity, when the bus arrived at the station in Galway city.
The mother pleaded guilty, before Galway District Court, to assaulting her son at an unknown location on the Tuam Road, Galway, on January 18, 2016, and received a five-month suspended sentence.
Sergeant Georgina Lohan, prosecuting, said a female passenger rang gardaí to complain that she had witnessed the accused assaulting a child on the bus.
Gardaí went to Bus Aras, at Forster St, and spoke to the passenger who witnessed the assault.
She said the child had been crying throughout the journey and the mother verbally and physically assaulted him. She was intoxicated and lapsed into unconsciousness for periods of the journey.
The mother was arrested in Galway and detained. She didn’t make any admissions and the matter was referred to the child protection agency, Tusla.
Defence solicitor, Sean Acton, said a subsequent report from Tusla recommended the mother go for alcohol treatment and she had done that.
He said Tusla released her from its child-protection plan some months later, because of the progress she had since made.
“She describes her own behaviour as ‘disgusting’ and I would be shocked if anything like this happened again,” the solicitor added.
Judge Fahy said she had to treat the matter very seriously.
She imposed a five-month sentence, which she suspended on condition the accused be of good behaviour for a period of two years, adding that she hoped there would be no relapse.
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