'House of horrors' mother admits abuse

  • Deborah Condon

The 40 year old woman at the centre of the 'house of horrors' case in Roscommon has been sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of incest, sexual abuse and neglect of her six children.

Details of the house were revealed in Roscommon Circuit Court yesterday.

The court heard how the woman had sex with her 13 year old son on four different occasions. On each occasion, the woman had come home from the pub in a drunken state. She admitted this incest to the Gardai in May, 2006, and said that it had taken place both in her bed and in her son’s bedroom when her other sons were asleep.

Meanwhile all of the children, who are now aged between 10 and 19, were forced to live in a filthy home, covered in rubbish. They were given little or no food and the heating was rarely on. They had to sleep on urine-soaked beds because they had never been properly toilet trained and bedding and clothes were never washed.

Giving evidence in court, Sgt John Hynes said that the bathroom toilet was never flushed and dirty water was left in the sink. Meanwhile in the kitchen, utensils were never washed and it was not possible to see the table because of all the dirt on it.

So much rubbish was put into a shed at the back of the house, it was falling out the door and cats had taken to leaving dead rats at the back door. On one occasion, five rats were left there.

The children were taken into care in 2004 and are currently living in three separate foster homes. However it emerged in court that the children had come to the notice of social workers as early as 1996.

When Gardai arrested the woman, she admitted the offences and said ‘it was a house of horrors with bells on it. I am the worst mother in the world and I don’t deserve to get my children back’.

The woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of incest and two charges of sexual abuse against a son and also to the neglect and ill-treatment of all of the children between 1998 and 2004.

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