Tuesday 10 December 2019

Jailed house of horrors mum on brief visit home

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE mother at the centre of the 'House of Horrors' child neglect case was out of jail yesterday and walking freely a short distance from her former home.

The woman -- who is serving time after subjecting her children to a horrific litany of abuse and neglect -- was released from the Mountjoy Women's Prison in Dublin for a number of hours for unspecified reasons.

The 42-year-old, who described herself in the past as "the worst mother in the world", was accompanied yesterday by at least two prison officers at all times but was not handcuffed as she smiled and went about her business.

The late judge Miriam Reynolds sentenced the woman to seven years in prison in January 2009 after she pleaded guilty to charges of incest, sexual abuse, neglect and wilful ill-treatment.

At the time Judge Reynolds demanded to know why nothing was done to save the children from suffering at the hands of their evil mother.

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) last night refused to comment on why the woman was let of jail temporarily. An IPS spokesman said they did not comment on "individual cases".

However, locals were horrified to see the woman walking around just a half-hour's drive from the grimy house where the family lived.

One man told the Irish Independent that he was "outraged" to see her after what she "did to her children". "I saw her and I couldn't believe it. I've seen her before and I could never forget that face. I know what she did to those children and to see her looking so happy and relaxed turned my stomach."


Her appearance in public came in the wake of an apology from health chiefs this week to the six children who suffered years of abuse at the hands of their parents.

The woman's in-laws were seen in the same location yesterday and it is believed she had time to talk to them briefly.

The woman's husband is serving a 12-and-a-half year sentence for rape and sexual assault against one of his sons.

The parents who carried out the horrific abuse cannot be named and shamed to protect the identity of their children who are trying to re-build their lives.

The six were left in the 'House of Horrors' for many years as social workers failed to rescue them. Four of the children are still in care because they are minors.

Social services first became aware of the family as far back as 1989, but it was not until 1996 that they became actively involved in the case.

The probe laid bare a raft of failures of the HSE and Western Health Board, including missing social work files.

The HSE issued an "unreserved and unequivocal" apology for its failures in the case.

Irish Independent

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