A husband and wife have been convicted of multiple charges of neglect and cruelty against their daughter at their Dublin home during the summer of 2019.
The couple, who came to Ireland from north Africa, cannot be named to protect the identity of their child.
She suffered brain damage after being knocked unconscious.
During the trial, the jury heard the girl’s father contacted an Islamic faith healer because he believed his daughter was possessed by a supernatural creature.
He told Gardaí he performed a ritual on her at one stage to try and get it to leave her body.
Speaking outside court after the verdicts were delivered, Detective Inspector Brian Downey said a person’s religious beliefs are not a justification for abuse like this.
“No sort of abuse that is faith-based will be tolerated in Ireland.
“At the end of the day, children have a right to grow up without fear and be free from violence – whether it’s physical, emotional or even neglect.”
And he said the community has a role to play in spotting cases of child neglect.
“The Gardaí work very close with the community – so we’re fortunate to have a very good working relationship with schools and teachers, who may see abuse signs before we do.
“And they will contact us through our community policing teams and let us know if there is some issues”.
Main image: The Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street, Dublin in June 2021. Picture by: Ognyan Trifonov / Alamy Stock Photo