Mother rubbed dog faeces on face of her young daughter
A mother rubbed dog faeces on the face of her young daughter and pushed her downstairs during a five-year period of neglect.
Garda Donna Egan outlined the neglect committed by the 37-year-old mother against her daughter, who was aged between five and 10 at the time.
In one incident, Garda Egan said that the girl recalled a dog dirtying the kitchen floor and the girl was told to clean up the dirt by her mother.
She said: "In the course of this, some of the dog dirt on the tissue was rubbed on the child's face by her mother."
Garda Egan said the teenager also recalled her mother pushing her down a stairs and throwing a mug at her, which struck her on the head.
She said the girl also recalled that after she had refused to tidy her bedroom, her mother put her into a bath and turned on the hot water tap as punishment.
None of the incidents required medical treatment.
The garda described the case as "heartbreaking" at Ennis District Court yesterday,
Inspector Tom Kennedy said that after a long and complex investigation, the DPP recommend that the case be dealt with in the District Court.
The accused woman pleaded guilty to the neglect of her daughter in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering to the child's health and affect her wellbeing over five years.
In the District Court, a maximum sentence of 12 months applies to the cruelty charge. However, the woman walked free from court yesterday.
Judge Patrick Durcan said he would go along with the recommendations of a very thorough probation report that the woman should be placed on a probation bond for 12 months, with conditions attached.
The judge said that the woman "behaved in a way towards her child which was neglectful in extreme, damaging in the extreme and which was very depriving of what any child should have when they are growing up".
He continued: "The child in question must have suffered seriously and one can only hope that the child, who is now elsewhere, is in a better place and developing with the appropriate aids and supports that are necessary."
The judge said it was an unusual case where "the defendant came from a bad place and had a bad childhood". The woman had admitted responsibility and co-operated with Garda Egan and all the relevant services.
Addressing the woman, Judge Durcan said: "You are being released by this court today on condition that you co-operate fully with the (probation) service. If there is any breach of that, that matter will be brought back before me and I will have no hesitation in dealing with this in a different way.
He added: "I appreciate and admire your acceptance of the situation and I want to compliment you on that."