Mum at centre of garda search has her baby

A heavily pregnant mother of four, who was the centre of a major search by gardaí on Friday, has been traced and “has happily had her baby”, the High Court was told yesterday.

The High Court issued the search and find directions on Friday after hearing that the 30-year-old woman had failed to turn up at a hospital to have the delivery of her baby induced.

The judge had been told that the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, presented a “high-risk” pregnancy due to a medical condition.

Tim O’Leary SC, who appeared with barrister Sarah McKechnie for the HSE, told Mr Justice Anthony Hunt that the mother had been found on Friday evening and happily her child had been delivered on Sunday.

Judge Hunt vacated all orders made on Friday by his colleague, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty, and said he hoped the intervention of the court had been helpful.

Judge Moriarty was told that the HSE had tried to contact her through phone calls and texts and family members had also been contacted after the woman, who was 39.5 weeks pregnant, failed to attend her medical appointment. An Garda Siochana had also visited her address.

Mr O’Leary had told the court the woman had a long history of involvement with child protection services and said her first two children had been taken into care and now lived with their maternal grandparents. Her third child had been adopted in the UK and her fourth one was placed in foster care.

Mr O’Leary said there were significant risk factors in the woman’s ability to parent, including evidence of neglectful parenting, eventual abandonment, and inconsistency with accepting assistance from professional services throughout pregnancy.

The HSE was granted orders permitting An Garda Siochana to immediately search for, arrest without warrant, and detain the woman to take her to a hospital. The court made orders to immediately transfer and detain the woman to a hospital to undergo assessment and monitoring as was deemed appropriate.

The court heard that the HSE and the gardaí believed she may be with a sister. She would be assessed by psychiatrists when transferred to hospital.

Judge Moriarty, describing the case as a “genuine human emergency” granted the reliefs sought by the HSE and adjourned until today.


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