Wednesday 16 January 2019

Mum begs judge to be let out of jail for son's first Holy Communion

Amanda Hayes
Amanda Hayes

Gordon Deegan

A JUDGE is set to grant a mother's wish to be allowed out of prison to see her son make his Holy Communion.

Amanda Hayes (27) penned a letter to Judge Patrick Durcan asking that he allow her to leave prison temporarily to attend her son's first Holy Communion at the end of this month.

Hayes is currently on remand at Limerick Prison awaiting sentencing for a number of recent drug-fuelled thefts, including stealing the contents of a Trocaire and an Irish Heart Foundation charity collection box.

A long-time drug addict, Hayes lost her own mother at the age of 11 in a car accident.

Hayes has 23 previous theft convictions and is now on a methadone programme.

The mother-of-two has pleaded guilty to the most recent theft offences.

Last year, she was released from prison after serving a three-year sentence, with the final 18 months suspended, for making a false rape allegation in December 2014.

In that case, Hayes, of Inis Ealga, Shannon, sparked a needless six-week long pursuit by gardai for a rapist around Shannon.

The investigation - which included gardai making 30 separate house calls - followed Hayes falsely reporting that she was raped by a man wearing a hoodie in the early hours of St Stephen's Day in 2014.

Hayes was taken to the Sexual Assault Unit at University Hospital Galway for a forensic examination, where she elaborated on her initial complaint to the doctor examining her.

At Ennis District Court yesterday, Hayes said that she was expecting to serve a prison sentence for the thefts, but wants to attend her son's communion.

Her solicitor Daragh Hassett had earlier read out her letter asking that Hayes attend the first Holy Communion.

Judge Durcan told Hayes: "I am not giving any guarantees, but my idea is a lengthy sentence with bail conditions for certain occasions."

Judge Durcan asked if the child is a member of a family of regular churchgoers and he was told that he was.

The judge said that would adjourn the case for one week and further remanded Hayes in custody, to re-appear in court next Wednesday for a member of the Probation Service to attend to put in place a post-release plan for Hayes.

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