A baby boy was taken into care after concerns that his teenage sister drove their mother home from a pub came to the attention of the authorities.
The mother had been in a relationship with a man she had been told to stay away from and when officials called to the house they found him hiding in the attic, a district court has heard.
Gardaí called to the home on July 3 and found a ‘make-shift bed’ and the man hiding by the chimney flue.
An emergency care order was executed and the baby was taken into care on July 4.
When authorities called to the home on July 4, the mother, who was in a distressed state, said her teenage daughter had taken the child for a walk.
When approached by authorities the daughter told them that her brother would be better off in care and “would be better cared for than he was at home.”
The court heard that the man had another child and served a jail sentence for a serious assault on her when she was two years and ten months old.
The girl was also “found to have a large amount of alcohol in her system.”
The social worker told the court that the teenage daughter told them that her mother had been drinking that day. A can of cider was found by the bed, an empty bottle of vodka in a kitchen cupboard and gardaí found ‘40 fresh cans’ in a black bag on top of a bin.
The teenage daughter said her mother’s partner had been in the house since May and that when gardaí or social workers called to the house he would hide in the attic.
The teenager packed up her brother’s belongings.
She also told social workers what type of food her baby brother preferred and told her how to soothe him to sleep at night.
A social worker told the court that the mother needed to get help to overcome her alcohol issues.
She added it had been the belief of social workers that the mother was no longer drinking and that she had been in residential care to address the problem.
“This calls into question her ability to protect the child. We have met with lies and collusion and it is very difficult to assess the situation,” she said.
She added that the mother still accepted no responsibility for having her partner on the premises.
Gardaí later told the court that when they discovered her partner in her attic that she began to scream “how is he in my house?” and claimed that she wasn’t aware that he was there.
The woman’s solicitor told the court that she did take responsibility for what happened over the last number of weeks and that she did accept she covered up certain matters.
She said: “There is a violent history among the partners in question and I would ask the court to consider that she was under a certain amount of fear and intimidation.”
In her response, the social worker said that the woman would need to prioritise the safety of her young child above and beyond anything else.
“At this stage, I recommend that she needs residential treatment for her alcohol addiction” and that since April she had been telling counsellors that she had not been drinking.
The social worker told the court, that they had since learned that the woman had been drinking since her baby son was two or three months old.
“We now have to assess her capacity to protect her son,” she said.