Interim care orders extended for three children as fourth reunited with father – 2023vol2#17

A District Court in a rural town extended interim care orders for three children while accepting the discharge of an interim care order for a fourth who had been reunited with his father.

The solicitor for the Child and Family Agency (CFA) told the court that a parental capacity assessment had been done and it had commenced with the mother, that there was agreement on the trajectory which was still ongoing, and that one of the children had returned to his father.

In relation to the trajectory, a psychological assessment on the mother was awaited. The court was told that the reason for the child’s order being discharged was that he had started in a primary school in the south of the country and all had been going well with the child, which was why he had returned to his father.

There was also a section 47 application before the court brought on behalf of the father asking the court to dispense with the mother’s consent to allow the father to register the child with a GP in the south of the country. The CFA was supporting the section 47 application but the mother was contesting it.

The court was told that access between the children and their mother had been going well. The court was informed that the mother and her new partner had concerns regarding cars being sold from the father’s house, which was denied by the father. In addition, the mother was making allegations that the children were travelling in a vehicle that was uninsured and not safe. The social work team said that they were liaising with the Gardaí regarding any such investigations and allegations.

During cross examination it was noted that the psychological assessment of the mother had commenced but there was no completion date given. It was also stated that the parental capacity assessment was important and that there was a need for the doctor to complete the report as soon as possible.

The solicitor for the guardian ad litem (GAL) said that the GAL was supporting the interim care order for the three children being extended and for the order to be made so that the fourth child’s practical needs could be met locally and that there was nothing to prevent any further applications being brought if considered necessary.

The court was told that the child had been back with his father for the last month and that there were no concerns in relation to the child. The order was made to allow the child to attend a GP and be registered with the GP in the south of the country.


Interim care orders for the other three children was extended for a period of 28 days. The section 18 care order hearing was adjourned to the same date for those three children and the section 18 for fourth child was struck out.