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Mother tells court her fear of troubled adult daughter in 'nightmare' situation

The woman was remanded in custody following an emotionally charged bail hearing at Dublin District Court today.

A DISTRAUGHT MOTHER wept at Dublin District Court today as she pleaded with a judge to refuse bail to her troubled daughter accused of “thrashing” her house.

The woman alleged the incident happened following a “revolving” situation and a lack of psychiatric services.

The young Dublin woman in her 20s, who had already been the subject of protection orders taken by her mother, was arrested on Friday for criminal damage to a window.

She appeared before a weekend sitting of Dublin District Court and was remanded in custody following an emotionally charged bail hearing.

Judge John Hughes heard the defendant told gardai, “I’m innocent”, on arrest, and there was an objection to bail based on witness interference fears.

The young woman had already been imprisoned in the Dochas Centre for breaching the protection order which was taken out in 2022 and later extended.

She was released recently, and the alleged criminal damage incident occurred on the protection order’s expiry date.

Her mother gave evidence in support of the garda application, saying: “My house was thrashed; it is not about the thrashing, it is [about] where she is mentally.”

She told the court that the daughter, who is dealing with the death of a close family member, was in a challenging and difficult situation and had “spiralled” in recent months.

The mother said she had gone everywhere looking for help and “I’m trying everything”, but her daughter was off her medication and living in homeless care or a B&B paid by the family. She said she had been trying to build up a relationship and “get her back to some sort of stability”.

“I’m living in fear, I’m living in fear,” she said. When questioned whether custody was appropriate, she responded that the defendant was “in danger of harming herself and harming other people”.

“We are in a revolving situation; we keep calling the guards,” she said.

She said a GP recommended getting her daughter psychiatric help. She claimed she was told the young woman needed to be an outpatient first, but she “cannot manage her own life”.

Weeping, she said a hospital said she needed residential treatment, but none was offered.

She said that her daughter had been “terrorising me” and had been sent to prison previously. A recommendation was made for psychiatric treatment in custody.

“I feel we are here today in a nightmare cycle, and my daughter is here no better.”

Defence solicitor Colleen Gildernew said there was no charge for breaching the order, and there was evidence it was no longer in force.

Cross-examining the garda witness, she submitted that the charge before the court was about a broken window. Furthermore, remanding the accused in custody due to a lack of psychiatric services was “over the top”.

The court heard no further charges were expected from Friday’s incident at the mother’s home.

The arresting garda was concerned the woman would not turn up to court if released, but witness interference was his primary concern.

Pleading for bail, the defence solicitor accepted that it was clearly a fractious and tumultuous family relationship in this case.

Gildernew submitted that her client was psychiatrically unwell but had been trying to access help and support through homeless services.

The solicitor argued that a referral under the Mental Health Act was necessary, but “the Dochas Centre should not bridge that gap”, and the court had to balance the competing interests in the case.

The judge said the accused has the presumption of innocence, but he accepted the prosecution had established its objection to bail.

He remanded her in custody to appear again later this month.

Legal aid was granted to the young woman, who had no means and had not been collecting her social welfare.

The judge also directed medical attention for her in custody.

The defendant, who has not entered a plea so far, did not give evidence.

However, as she was escorted from the courtroom sobbing, she turned and told her still visibly upset mother, “Don’t talk to me, don’t speak to me, I’m going to get a barring order for you”.