Three young children were found in a highly distressed and dirty state at a house party in Carrigaline where gardaí found many empty beer cans and drug paraphernalia, including needles, tinfoil, and burnt spoons, on the floor.
The father of the three children, aged two, four and six, was prosecuted for child neglect at Cork District Court yesterday arising out of the investigation. He did not appear in court.
Gardaí responded to a call to the house from neighbours at 3.30am who were concerned about the sound of children crying inside the house.
Gardaí discovered the children’s father and two other men in a highly intoxicated and aggressive condition, so much so that Carrigaline gardaí had to call for the back-up of colleagues from stations at Togher, Bishopstown, Gurranabraher, and Anglesea Street.
The children were taken into care by the gardaí, who brought them to their mother’s home in Cork City. They were described as being happy and relieved to be brought to their mother’s house, which was clean and suitable for children.
A bench warrant was then issued for the arrest of the 41-year-old man, who cannot be named, and who was convicted by Judge Con O’Leary on a charge of neglecting one of the children.
Gardaí Colm Aherne, Philip Moore, and Aisling Murphy responded to a call to the house in Carrigaline at 3.30am on August 3, 2017.
“Upon arrival, we could hear young children crying loudly and we could hear males shouting loudly,” said Garda Aherne.
Gardaí called to the front door and two drunken men came to the door and refused to admit them.
The Child Care Act had to be invoked so that gardaí could get into the house. They went upstairs to find three children in a bedroom.
“The room could be best described as squalor,” said Garda Aherne. “There was no adequate bed clothing. There were empty cans of beer strewn around the bedroom. The defendant was intoxicated and not in a fit state to mind children.
“The youngest was wearing a heavily soiled nappy. The children were all wearing dirty clothes.
One child was sleeping with a towel as a bed sheet. The two males downstairs had signs of fighting. One had a fresh black eye.
"All three males became highly confrontational when told the children were going to be taken into care.”
When Garda Aherne said the accused had come to the house for a house party, defence solicitor Michael Quinlan challenged this and said the defendant had come there for a child’s party in the afternoon and had ended up staying in the house because someone left him down for a spin home.
Garda Moore corroborated Garda Aherne’s evidence and added: It was absolutely not a safe place for those children.”
Garda Murphy said one of the girls was half naked with a towel wrapped around her.