HSE -v- S & T

CourtDistrict Court (Ireland)
JudgeToale J.
Judgment Date10 January 2013
Neutral Citation[2013] IEDC 25
Case OutcomeApproved
[2013] IEDC 25
Health Service Executive
S (the mother) and T (the father)
Child Care Act 1991 (CCA)
In the matter of E, F, G, H, (the children)
EB guardian ad litem to the children.
[Note: This ve rsion of the original decision delivered is prepared for the purpose of publication. Any c hanges from to the original are
intended only to be a s to f orm and not as to subst ance, and are for the purpose of reducing the possibility of identific ation of t he
1. This is an applicat ion made by the Health Service Exec utive [the applicant] under sec tion 17 (1) of t he Child Care Act 1991 [t he
1991 Act] f or an interim care order in respec t of each of the c hildren. The parents are not married to eac h other. Both parents
contes ted t he application. T he guardian ad litem, unusually, was appointed to t he children after t he completion of the evidence of
the parties and t heir witnesses, but before t he conc lusion / decision in the c ase.
2. Sect ion 17 (1) of the 1991 Act provides as follows:-
17.—(1) Where a justice o f the District Court is sat isfied on the applicat ion of the Health Se rvice Execut ive that—
(a) an application for a care order in respect of the child has been or is about to be made (whether or not an emergency
care order is in force), and
(b) there is reasonable c ause to believe that any of t he circumstanc es mentioned at paragraph (a), (b) or (c ) of section
18(1) exists or has existed with respec t to the child and that it is nece ssary for the protect ion of the child’s health or
welfare that he be place d or maintained in the c are of the Agency pending the determination of the applicat ion for the
care order, the justice may make an order to be known and in this Act referred to a s an “interim care order”.
3. The applicat ion was heard over 7 dat es, in late 2012 and early 2013, the c ourt giving such t ime as was available on each date. I
met with the 3 older c hildren prior to the conc lusion of the hearing.
4. The applicant was represente d by its solicit ors.
5. Mother att ended the hearing, and was legally represented by solicitor and c ounsel. Mother also had t he assistanc e of an advocat e
at t he hearing.
6. Father at tended the hearing, and was legally represented at the hearing by his solicitor.
7. The guardian ad litem was legally represented by his solicit or following his appointment.
8. E and F are in t heir early teens, G is late pre t een, H is an infant.
9. There have been no previous Orders of this c ourt in respect of t he children.
10. Evidence was heard from the following 10 witnesses:-
i. Garda L
ii. K, community social ca re worker
iii. P, YAP manager
iv. M, manager, family support service
v. R, social worker
vi. D,YAP
vii. Father
viii. Mother
ix. A, family friend
x. Guardian ad litem.
11. The evidenc e given by Garda L was in effe ct a summary of the Garda file relating to this family, both in respect of "child
protect ion issues" and in respect of criminal matters. Garda L neither witnessed nor investigate d any of t he matters t o which he
referred in his evidence. As suc h, his evidence was hearsay ev idence. T he evidence given by Garda L was not f ormally admitte d by
the respondents, although aspect s of it, were ac knowledged by the respondents. I have not relied on the evidence of Garda L save

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