Cork baby more suited to supervision than care order, court hears

Consultant psychiatrist satisfied mother did not suffer from mental health problems

Cork District Court heard the details of the case on Monday

Cork District Court heard the details of the case on Monday


The case of a premature baby born with serious health problems to a mother who had issues with social workers was more suited to a supervision order than a care order, a consultant psychiatrist told a family law court hearing on Monday.

The consultant psychiatrist told Cork District Court that, having examined the child’s mother, he was satisfied she did not suffer from any mental health issues nor from any personality disorder, though she did exhibit signs of paranoia, suspicion and impulsiveness.

He told Judge Tim Lucey he believed the case was more suited to a supervision order where the child would be allowed remain with his parents, given the offer of family support and with regular monitoring from the Child and Family Agency (CFA), rather than be taken into care.

The CFA had already obtained three interim care orders for the child since his birth by Caesarean section in a maternity hospital on October 3rd after 29 weeks’ gestation and weighing just 980g. He has been in hospital since.

The CFA is now seeking a six-month care order.

A senior CFA social worker testified she believed the woman had neglected herself and the baby by her smoking when pregnant. The social worker was also concerned the couple had no place to live with the child as they had been staying in a hostel since he was born. She did not believe they could handle the stress of caring for the child upon his discharge.

Barrister for the parents Mairéad Carey said her client would say that she was smoking no more than six cigarettes a day during pregnancy and had since given up smoking and the couple would be in position to care for their child.

It was their intention to live with the father’s parents in Dublin once the child is discharged.The case continues.