A father charged with child neglect after his infant daughter was allegedly found abandoned in a car for 10 hours in Dublin at the weekend has been remanded on bail pending directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
A man raised the alarm in Clondalkin Garda Station at around 2am on Saturday, resulting in a major Garda operation. The baby girl was found safe and well at around 4am, following a two-hour search, was taken to Temple Street Children's Hospital and given the all-clear.
The accused, who is in his 30s and cannot be identified due to reporting restrictions, is charged with an offence under section 246 of the Children Act. He appeared at Dublin District Court today.
It is alleged he assaulted, neglected, ill-treated, or abandoned a child in a manner likely to cause suffering or injury from Friday to Saturday in west Dublin.
Visibly upset, he sat silently on the defendant’s bench and has yet to enter a plea.
The offence can, on conviction in the District Court, carry a 12-month sentence and a fine or up to seven years imprisonment if the case is dealt with at the Circuit Court level.
Detective Garda Cian Logan told Judge Treasa Kelly that the accused was charged at Clondalkin Garda station on Sunday afternoon. He was handed a true copy of the charge sheet and “made no reply to charge after caution”.
The detective confirmed that he had no objection to bail subject to conditions imposed without any defence objection.
A file is to be prepared for the DPP in relation to further charges.
Defence solicitor Cian McCann said there was “consent to as long a remand as reasonably possible.”
Judge Kelly ordered the man to reside at his current address, provide Gardaí with a contact number within 48 hours, “be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week”, and sign on at his local garda station once a week.
Judge Kelly also noted there would have to be disclosure of evidence and ordered him to appear at Blanchardstown District Court on a date in January.
She agreed with Mr McCann that section 93 of the Children Act applied to media coverage of the case.
The legislation states, "No report shall be published or included in a broadcast which reveals the name, address or school of any child concerned in the proceedings or includes any particulars likely to lead to the identification of any child concerned in the proceedings."
The solicitor said there was no application for legal aid by his client at this stage.
Reporting by Tom Tuite.