Boy (4) left alone in Cork McDonald's as father lay asleep and intoxicated on toilet floor

Judge Olann Kelleher said the incident had proved very significant in that the parent lost all access to the child. 
Boy (4) left alone in Cork McDonald's as father lay asleep and intoxicated on toilet floor

Judge Olann Kelleher was told that the accused man had several previous convictions for being drunk and a source of danger to himself or others

A four-year-old child was left alone in McDonald’s in Blackpool as his father was found asleep on the floor of the toilet in a highly intoxicated condition.

That was back in May 2019 at the fast-food outlet. Now at Cork District Court the boy’s father has been prosecuted on a child neglect charge.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the offence. 

Judge Olann Kelleher was told that the accused man had several previous convictions for being drunk and a source of danger to himself or others but the judge noted, “He has none for cruelty.” 

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the incident occurred at 5.30 p.m. in the afternoon when it was noticed that the defendant was highly intoxicated in the premises.

“He was later found asleep on the floor of the toilets. His four-year-old son was outside (in the dining area) waiting for him,” Sgt. Davis said at Cork District Court.

Staff alerted gardaí and the child’s mother was also contacted. She arrived and took her son away.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, told the judge that more than two years on from this incident the defendant has had no access to his son.

“Sadly, he has lost access. He accepts that. He realises the extent of his alcohol dependency,” Mr Buttimer said.

Regarding the incident itself, the solicitor said that in fairness to other people present in the premises that afternoon they realised more or less immediately the situation that had arisen and they addressed it.

“He is back on track completely now,” Mr Buttimer said.

The 36-year-old is now working full-time and attending a psychologist for treatment for mental health difficulties.

“The picture has improved substantially since this neglect issue,” Mr Buttimer said.

Judge Olann Kelleher said the incident had proved very significant in that the parent lost all access to the child. 

“That is a penalty in itself,” the judge remarked.

In all the circumstances the judge said there no point in imposing a custodial sentence and he convicted the defendant and fined him €500.

The defendant is not identified as it would lead to identification of the boy, which is protected under The Children’s Act.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more