Thursday 13 December 2018

Girl (3) dies after alleged assault in south Dublin home

Gardai at the scene Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Gardai at the scene Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A three-year-old girl who was rushed to hospital after an alleged assault at her home in Shankill, Co Dublin on Saturday has died.

The toddler was in the intensive care unit of Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin in Dublin following the incident at her home on Saturday afternoon.

But life-support was withdrawn yesterday morning and she was pronounced dead.

The girl's mother, aged in her 40s, appeared before a special sitting of Bray District Court on Sunday night charged with assault causing harm.

She was remanded in custody and is expected to appear before court tomorrow.

Gardai believe that the mother assaulted the three-year-old in an upstairs bedroom of the property, before notifying emergency services.

She had been detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Shankill Garda Station.

A source has told the Herald the mother had not previously come to the attention of gardai and there were no previous concerns about her daughter's well-being.

The quiet cul-de-sac where the alleged assault took place was packed with emergency personnel and investigating officers in the aftermath of the incident.

Neighbours of the family of four said they could still not make sense of what happened.

"I don't think anyone heard any commotion coming from the house," said one resident.

"I didn't know the family that well, but the mother would often say hello and wave.

"It's a very quiet neighbourhood and it's shocking to hear of something like this happening so close to home."

The woman is believed to have lived in the house for several years with her partner and two children.

Another neighbour described how she saw the mother being escorted into an unmarked car shortly after gardai arrived at the scene.

"I must have seen about 20 emergency vehicles and gardai on the road. I really didn't know what had happened," said the neighbour.

"After a while, I saw her walk slowly out of the house and into an unmarked car. Her head was down and she got into the vehicle before being driven off."

The neighbour then saw her partner walk up to the house with his other child.

"The father wasn't in the house at the time - he was out with the little boy," she said.

"After the wife had gone, I saw him casually walk up to the house. This must have been before he realised what had happened."

The elderly neighbour described the woman charged in relation to the assault as "quiet".

"You would often see her walking up and down with the little girl.

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