A MOTHER left her 11-month-old child in her car and went off drinking in the pub with her partner after he received news that he had been diagnosed with cancer, a court heard.
The woman, in her 40s, apologised for her behaviour, claiming she only had two bottles of beer with her partner and wasn't in the pub for very long.
She was before the court for sentencing after a judge ordered a probation report.
Judge James McDonnell fined the woman, who has no previous convictions, €50.
The defendant, who cannot be named to protect her child, admitted before Tallaght District Court to being drunk in charge of a child at Marlfield Mall in Tallaght on April 22 last year.
Garda Sergeant Carmel Henry said gardai were flagged down by a motorist who told them a child had been left in a car in the car park of the neighbourhood centre.
Sgt Henry said the baby was taken into care by the HSE and was later released into the care of the defendant's family.
Defence solicitor Kevin Tunney said the woman's partner had been diagnosed with cancer, he was upset and the two of them had gone for a drink, leaving the baby in their car.
Mr Tunney said the defendant, who is unemployed and has a number of children, co-operated fully with the probation service.
Judge McDonnell told the woman that her partner needed someone who was sober to help him deal with his news, and "joining him in the pub to drink was the worst thing" she could have done.
He also said it would only have taken the defendant 10 minutes to drop off the child off with a friend or neighbour.
He fined the woman €50.