Wednesday 27 March 2019

'We were left with five boxes of clothes' - Mum of addict had home burnt down over son's drug debts

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Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

The mother of a drug addict has spoken of attacks on her family after her son amassed thousands of euros in drug debts and her home was burnt down as a result.

The family of four were living in a house while the family home was being renovated, until a series of attacks on her family escalated and the house was burnt to the ground.

She had been accustomed to sleepless nights as people showed up at her home during the night looking for drug money from her son.

"We didn’t understand it at first and we’ve come to the realisation that it’s an illness. As he got deeper and deeper into drugs, more expensive drugs, he built up some bills.

"We’ve been living with people calling to our property during the night looking for him, threatening us. My son would take a lot of beatings if he didn’t have his money," mum Lorraine told RTÉ's Liveline today.

She said they were dealing her son’s drug battle for seven years when it reached tipping point last month.

"Where we were living was burnt to the ground and we were left with what we have to our name right now – five boxes of clothes," she said.

"My two daughters, my husband and myself are actually living in a room with no window."

The fire was "the last straw" and lead to her throwing him out in what she describes as "tough love". She later found out he was planning to take his own life.

"I’ve heard the words 'tough love' so many times. I tried that after I lost everything and he was actually found in a very bad state… rolled up in a ball, crying his eyes out and had planned his own suicide for that day,"  she said.

"His options were he stayed on the streets and killed himself with his drug habit or he starts realising that there is help there," she said she told him at the time.

"I love him no matter what but I cant have this affect my daughters much longer."

Following this Lorraine managed to get him checked into a rehab clinic. By this point she said he was taking up to "50 pills a day" as well as other forms of drugs.

"There would be cocaine on top of that and then there would be methadone on top of that."

Despite the heartbreak and upset stemming from her son’s addiction, the mum of three said she couldn’t turn her back on him and what she calls his "illness".

"As a mum I just can’t let go of my son for this reason and I hope every day that he will get better.

"He’s an addict and I love him to bits. I’m not ashamed of him in any way. I don’t think anyone who lives with addiction should be ashamed of their family member. These people need help. They need proper help."

The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email For Pieta House, call 1800 247247 or email

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