Mum 'didn't see anything wrong' with pouring Fairy Liquid into kids' mouths
A mother-of-nine who admitted pouring washing-up liquid into the mouths of two of her children has told a court she "didn't see anything wrong" with her actions.
The woman (39) is facing charges of cruelty and neglect against eight of her children.
At Galway Circuit Court yesterday she accepted she smacked them, hit them with a wooden spoon and belt, and left two young children in the care of an alcoholic. However, she denied that any of her actions were abusive or neglectful.
The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her children, claimed a number of allegations made by her children were untrue.
These include allegations of cutting her daughter while showing her how to self-harm, giving her daughter drugs, driving a car at her sons and banging her daughter's head off a counter.
She accepted she had left two of her children, then aged 10 and 8, in the care of an alcoholic while she and her partner went to a pub in 2006. Two hours later the children were found by gardaí with the man who was so drunk he could not care for them.
Telling the court the man was a "functioning alcoholic", she said she had left her children with him because he was "brilliant with the kids".
She accepted she washed her eldest daughter's mouth with Fairy Liquid, after she had been heard teaching her siblings bad words. However, she denied claims she held the girl's head under water and forced the liquid down her throat.
"I lost my temper at her when she kept lying about it. I took her down into the kitchen and held her by the hair. I got some soap and I managed to get a bit of soap in her mouth and that was it," she said. She accepted she had done the same to her son.
The defendant was also asked about evidence from three of her children, that she had driven a car at her two sons, aged eight and six at the time, causing them to take evasive action to avoid being hit. The incident had followed the boys messing in a car with ice-cream. The two children were put out of the car and one of the boys told gardaí: "Mom drove the car at us."
The defendant disputed this, saying: "I drove the car but not at the boys. It wasn't an exercise in trying to hurt them, it was just to stop and make them think."
The mother said she had attempted an overdose in the months prior to six of her children being taken into care. Care of the household was taken on by her partner at this time. She said this was the only occasion when the care of the children could be questioned.