'She was my mum, why did she do that to me?'
This was the plaintive cry of an abused boy whose bravery helped uncover unspeakable evil, writes Willie Kealy
SHE admitted she was the worst mother in the world. She was an alcoholic who kept her children in squalor, and even forced herself sexually on one of her sons.
She was also a prostitute who brought men back to the house and had sex with them in front of the children. He, too, was an alcoholic who ruled his squalid home through fear and violence, and was jailed for the rape and sexual assault of one of his sons. The children were starved and left alone well into the night, sometimes watching pornographic videos.
Yet for years this evil pair managed to fool the social services into thinking that while they were a family with difficulties, they were coping and managing to bring improvements into the family life. They were even successful in challenging the HSE in court, thanks to the support of an extreme right-wing Catholic organisation. Last week, the HSE apologised for its failure to detect and act quickly enough to bring to an end the torture and abuse of the children.