Reporting restrictions remain in place for young boy’s murder case

Judge Carol Anne Coolican

A MOTHER wept in Limerick District Court today (Tuesday) when she heard that a court order which prohibits the identification of her dead son, and two people charged in connection with his alleged murder, is still in force.

Gardaí have alleged that the four-year-old boy was murdered by his father’s girlfriend and have also charged her with child cruelty.

The boy’s father has been charged with assisting the woman, child endangerment, and child cruelty.

The boy’s mother is not suspected any involvement with his death.

The woman accused of the boy’s murder, who appeared before the court via video link from a prison where she is being held on remand, consented to being held in continuing custody for a further four weeks.

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This is to allow Gardaí time to finalise a book of evidence which is expected to be ready in December.

Her solicitor asked the court to reiterate that the reason for the court order prohibiting the identification of the two accused persons, the dead boy, and specific locations, was because a ‘minor’ was involved in the proceedings.

Judge Carol Anne Coolican explained that the “reporting restrictions are to remain in place under Section 252 of the Children’s Act”.

The boy’s mother has previously called for reporting restrictions to be lifted so she can identify her dead son in public forums.

Reporting restrictions were not sought when the accused pair were initially charged before the court last month. However, after Judge Coolican enquired at a later hearing if there were any restrictions, the accused woman’s solicitor sought further instructions on behalf of her client and then successfully applied for the media ban.

Today the accused woman was remanded in continuing custody to appear before the court for service of the Book of Evidence on December 6.

The boy’s father, who appeared in court on November 3, has been remanded on continuing bail to appear before the court, also on December 6.