Court grants protection mother against son

Woman tells judge that neighbours had called gardaí because son was banging on walls with a hammer


An elderly man who is seeking protection from his daughter, a woman in need of a barring order against her violent husband and a “worn out” woman reluctantly seeking protection from her 19-year-old son were among cases at the Dublin District Family Court yesterday.

A tearful woman told Judge Marie Quirke that her neighbours had called gardaí on Sunday night because her 19-year-old son was banging on the walls with a hammer. The teenager, who has ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, lived at home with his large family. The woman said her son had been very aggressive towards some of his siblings and they were frightened of him. Her husband could not deal with him because he had MS and couldn’t walk.

The teenager’s violent behaviour had been going on for a year, she said, but she wasn’t seeking to have him barred from the family home, “not yet”.

“I have physical evidence as well,” she told the judge, revealing bruising on her upper arm. “He was pushing and shoving and hitting me with shoes.”

“You’re worn out,” the judge said. “I’m worn out,” the woman agreed.

The judge granted her a protection order, a temporary order requiring that he does not use violence or threaten to use violence or put his mother in fear.

Judge Quirke told the woman that she had to think of her own welfare and the welfare of her other children. Her son could come before the court on the next occasion to oppose a longer-term safety order if he wished. “Will I ask the gardaí to serve it on him?” “Please,” she responded.

In another case, an elderly man who remained standing throughout proceedings because of a bad hip told the court he needed a protection order against his daughter. She was abusive and he had to call gardaí twice last week. On Sunday night she arrived at his home where he lived with his wife. She had been “drinking again” and began banging on the door and ringing the bell.

She wanted money and to take her clothes from her room, he said. She had problems with alcohol and had lost custody of her three children to her former husband. “You’re entitled to feel safe in your own home,” the judge said, granting the order.

Separately, a woman who already had an short-term or interim barring order against her husband sought a three-year order.

The couple, 29 years married, had been separated for nine years, the court heard, but they had both remained living in the family home with their daughter and granddaughter until an incident last month triggered the interim order. The man was now living in his mother’s home.

The woman told the court that her husband drank a lot and she could never argue with him for fear of violence. On the day her brother died, her husband had held their daughter by the throat against the wall after rowing with her boyfriend. The woman described how she got between them and her husband punched her on the lip and bruised her arm. Another time he put his fist through a window with temper. He had also told her if she ever brought him to court he would kill her.

Judge Quirke noted the husband had “thought fit not to turn up” in court although he had been served with papers by gardaí. She granted the barring order for three years.