A mother who challenged a decision by the Health Service Executive to take her baby into care a day after he was born has been reunited with the infant.

The Supreme Court was told this morning the emergency care order had expired.

The baby is back with his mother and is under the supervision of the HSE.

Earlier this week, the mother lost her High Court action against the HSE's decision to take the baby into emergency care when he was one day old.

The High Court ruled against her and found the HSE's action was valid and lawful.

She still intends to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court.

However, the Supreme Court was told this morning the emergency care order had now expired.

The infant is back with his mother under a supervisory care order made by the District Court.

The case will return to the Supreme Court later this month when lawyers for the HSE will argue the appeal is now pointless.

The emergency care order was due to expire yesterday and the HSE had been expected to ask the District Court for an interim care order.

It emerged in the High Court case taken last week that the HSE had concerns about the baby's safety because of the behaviour of his father.

The High Court heard the mother had not had enough opportunity to prepare for the original District Court hearing and that gardaí had surrounded the house while she was breast feeding her baby and prevented her from going to court.

But Mr Justice Sean Ryan ruled on Monday that the rights of the mother to fair procedures were outweighed by the State's duty to protect a helpless baby.