A mother who pleaded guilty to ten counts of child neglect has been jailed for 18 months.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced the 34-year-old woman to four years imprisonment at the Circuit Criminal Court on Thursday. He suspended 18 months of the term, according to RTE News.
Judge Nolan said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had a responsibility as a mother to her children.
"She disregarded this sacred duty," he said
Speaking about the level of mistreatment, he said her five young children had been "neglected to the point of cruelty", adding they were "ill-fed, ill-clothed and ill-taken care of".
“She had a responsibility to mind them, she didn't," he said.
In previous testimony, the court heard about when healthcare officials visited the family home, her eight and four-year-old daughters were dressed only in shirts and ankle socks, while the defendant was dressed in a pink top and a Playboy cap.
The trial heard that after the children were taken into care, the eldest son of the accused ate chips in the police station and stuffed food into his pockets. His younger brother wore trousers that were half way up his legs, had no socks or underwear on, and had holes in his runners.
When they were taken into care, none of the children had been washed for some time and one foster mother reported that the one of the daughter’s hair was "a different colour blond" after she washed it.
As well as being underfed and badly clothed, some of the children had not been properly toilet trained.
The eldest boy is now 15 and living in a special care unit outside of Ireland. When first taken into care, he was to remain in an isolated unit for years as it was deemed unsafe for him to be around other children.
Judge Nolan told the court that he took into account that the accused "seemed to be a person who has problems".
The court heard that the children's father has previous convictions for child neglect, sexual abuse, and rape offences. His rap sheet included the abduction of the defendant when she was 14-years-old. The couple married soon after her 18 birthday and they later moved to Ireland.