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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
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# Children in Care
Five children taken into care after abuse allegations
The judge said that the children “lived in a bad place with bad people”.

A COURT ORDERED five children be taken into care after allegations that the oldest two, who were just six and four, had been sexually abused.

The case is detailed in the latest Child Care Law Reporting Project, which details 24 separate cases.

The report has also published Court Service data for last year, which shows a fall in the number of child care applications sought, down 601 from 2012 to 8,714.

This was mainly accounted for by a fall in the number of care orders.

In the abuse case, the court made care orders for the five children until they are 18 following allegations from two of them that they had been sexually and physically abused. The eldest of these was six and they included a baby born after the proceedings began.

The court found that the two older children had been subject to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, that the two middle children probably had been abused, and that the baby could well have been had she not been removed from her parents two days after birth.

During the hearing, which took place over more than 12 days in a nine month-period, the court heard that the two oldest children, aged four and six, had made a number of disturbing allegations about being physically, sexually and emotionally abused, and had said they did not want to go home.

They made the allegations initially to their foster carers, a social worker and their guardian ad litem, who had been appointed by the court when they were first taken into care under Interim Care Orders.

However while the case was going on, the older boy told his guardian that the social worker “made him say things that were not true”.

Following an adjournment, the independent psychologist, an expert in assessing children’s disclosures of abuse, told the court that, given the nature and details of the disclosures to the foster carers and the guardian, they were credible.

Evidence was also heard that the two young boys suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and exhibited sexualised behaviour. The children’s father told the court the allegations were “all lies” and that words had been put in the mouths of the children by social workers and other professionals. The mother did not give evidence.

The judge spoke to the boys privately, and then said in open court he had done so. He had not discussed abuse with them, but as the older boy was leaving he told the judge he wanted to “stay with the foster carer for ever”.

The horror of the lives of [A], [B], [C], and [D] is unimaginable. They lived in a bad place with bad people. The only order that can be contemplated is a full Care Order for each child.

Read: Court rules home extension be built so ‘inseparable’ siblings in care could stay together