Sunday 15 December 2019

Family warn the 'house of horror' mum to stay away

The woman was released from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, yesterday
The woman was released from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, yesterday

Caroline Crawford

THE family of young victims who were sexually abused by their mother in a case that horrified the country have warned her to stay away from them after her release from prison this week.

As the mother of six was released from Mountjoy, relatives of her young victims fear she may return to the area and have warned her to stay away.

"The family of the victims do not want this woman back in the county whatsoever. They don't want her next or near Roscommon," said a source close to the family.

As news of her release spread, locals in the Roscommon area where the abuse took place added their voice to calls for her not to return.

The former family home where the years of abuse took place, dubbed the 'House of Horrors', was demolished earlier this year.

The woman, who described herself as the 'worst mother in the world', has no family members living in the area and those living further away in the county have cut all contact with her.

"The family were anxious that the house would be knocked so she would have nothing to come back to but there is nothing to stop her returning," said one local.

"The house is gone now and she has nobody that would take her in. She's homeless here and everyone hopes she won't come back. Her relatives have absolutely no contact with her and want none."

Another local said they had not even been aware of her release until yesterday.

"The place is still scarred from this. Locally they would have been looked upon as a strange family who kept their distance but nobody had any idea of what was actually going on.

"People thought there was a bit of neglect with the parents always in the pub and the children's clothing and such but nobody could ever envisage what was actually going on."

The 45-year-old, who was the first woman in Irish legal history to be convicted of incest and the first to be registered as a sex offender, was released from Mountjoy's Dochas Centre just before 10.30am yesterday after serving just over five years of her seven-year sentence.

She was jailed in January 2009 after pleading guilty to incest, sexual abuse, neglect and wilful ill-treatment of her six children at their home between 1998 and 2004.

However, she had a quarter of the sentence reduced for good behaviour while in prison.


Following her release, the woman is now being accommodated in a step-down facility. However, there is no legal impediment to her returning to Roscommon.

During her time in prison, the woman was granted permission to visit her home area twice after the deaths of family members.

The six children, who were aged between six and 15 when the abuse took place, have had no contact with their mother since her imprisonment.

Three of the children remain in foster care while three older children are living independently and have recently settled legal actions against the State in relation to the case.

The family were kept informed of plans for the woman's release after they initiated contact with the Irish Prison services.

Irish Independent

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