Diane Ward (43) has been charged with the murder of her eight-year-old son, Anthony. Her son’s body was discovered in his bed at their home on Harrison Place, Charleville, County Cork.

His mother was officially charged with his murder at the Limerick District Court on Wednesday night. She was arrested in Cork city before being questioned at Mallow police station.

Charging officer Detective Sergeant Michael Corbett said she made no reply to the charges.

She was arrested at Cork University Hospital where she was being treated for acute distress.

Ward was arrested last night by Gardai after she was discharged from Cork University Hospital(CUH), where she had been treated since Monday after being admitted for acute distress.

Ward’s lawyer, Paul Cagney, applied for free legal aid, which Judge Eugene O’Kelly granted, RTE reports.

The Judge said due to the nature of the crime there was no issue of bail in this case. He also remanded Ward to the Dóchas center where she would have access to the Central Mental Hospital services.

The Limerick Leader reported that Ward’s lawyer said his client “does not wish to attend the Central Mental Hospital”.

Earlier this week, the Evening Herald reported that Ireland Health Service Executive (HSE) had made contact with the Ward family on three separate occasions in the past 18 months. The last contact was just one month before the boy’s murder. Anthony’s family had been concerned for his welfare.

Anthony’s funeral will be held at Holy Cross Church on Thursday, 6th September at 2.30pm (GMT).

Members of of the Garda forensic team arrive at the house where the body of eight year old Anthony Ward was discovered by the Gardai at his house in Harrison's Place in Charleville, Co Cork.Dan Linehan