Gardaí were involved in a dramatic intervention at Shannon when they stopped a mother who was trying to leave the country with her husband and children. They are investigating a mysterious car crash in which she was involved.
The woman, who lives in the Munster area, is under investigation for a road traffic accident in which she and one of her children were seriously injured.
There is an allegation that the woman deliberately crashed the car.
As the family tried to leave for New Zealand yesterday, a Garda investigation into reckless endangerment was in progress. When the couple were approached by gardaí on the plane, they returned to the airport terminal building with their children.
When the crash occurred, it is alleged the woman told hospital staff that she had caused the accident in which she and one of her children were badly injured and gardaí were alerted.
As the HSE and gardaí began to look into the family circumstances, it emerged that her husband and father of the children had left for New Zealand “under a financial cloud”, putting enormous strain on the woman. The children subsequently went into the care of the couple’s relatives.
A Garda investigation into alleged endangerment of the child was started and the husband returned from New Zealand and took care of the couple’s children.
However, the HSE again became alarmed when the children did not turn up for school and proceeded with an emergency care order.
A source said last night: “Gardaí then discovered that the couple had booked a flight for themselves and their children from Shannon to London, with the intention of going onward to either New Zealand or Australia. When airport gardaí were alerted the couple and the children were on the plane which was ready to depart. Gardaí boarded the plane and approached the couple and requested the mother to accompany them. As the investigation into reckless endangerment involved only the mother, she was the only person who could be taken off the flight.
“However, her husband left the plane with the children, once the gardaí intervened.”
Gardaí invoked section 12 of the Child Care Act and handed over the children to the care of the HSE.
The HSE was refused court custody of the children and they are now being cared for by the father.
A Garda spokesman confirmed last night that a file on the alleged reckless endangerment of a child arising out of the accident was at an advanced stage and a file would be sent to the DPP for instructions.
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