Couple split up after Lotto winnings ran out, court hears

Woman seeking maintenance says her partner left when ‘the money was gone’

A couple who won €500,000 in the lottery split up after the money ran out, a court has heard. File photograph: Philip Sears/Reuters

A couple who won €500,000 in the lottery split up after the money ran out, a court has heard. File photograph: Philip Sears/Reuters


A couple who won €500,000 in the lottery split up after the money ran out, a family District Court in the northwest has heard.

The woman, who was not legally represented and was seeking maintenance, told the judge the National Lottery set up a joint account for them after their win more than five years ago.

If they wanted money they would ring and it would be transferred into her bank account. It was now “long gone”.

“Was it squandered or what?” the judge asked.

The woman said a lot went into the house they built together, and they were due to get married.

“I just signed the cheques. Then the money was gone, and he was gone, and left me pregnant with our fourth child.”

She could “not afford to work” and was in receipt of €307 social welfare.

A solicitor for the man, who was not present in court, said her client was working abroad and was seeking guardianship of his children as well as financial disclosure from his former partner.

The judge adjourned the case for a month, and ordered full disclosure, including details of the lotto bank account.


Prior to the birth of the infant late last year, the mother was an in-patient at a psychiatric hospital, and had said she wanted to kill her baby.

Two psychiatric nurses had to accompany her during delivery of her child, a social worker told the court.

The mother remained in the psychiatric hospital for a time before being released, and the baby was taken into the care of the Child and Family Agency.


She had thrown her medication out while tidying her home, and had said it was her decision whether to take it or not.

A solicitor for the mother said a psychiatric report showed her client had made a lot of improvements while on medication, and was not consenting to an extension of the interim care order.

Giving evidence, the mother described being on medication as “horrendous”, and said she had been taken off it by her doctor. Her solicitor said that was news to her.

“I want my child out of foster care today,” the mother said.

“That’s not going to happen,” the judge said.

He was not satisfied the mother fully appreciated everything that was going on, or about taking her medication, which was “an essential prerequisite”.

He extended the order to mid-February.

The judge also granted a domestic violence safety order to a woman who said her husband came into her bedroom after being drinking and used abusive language to her.

She said he told her all she had was her “lovely face” and anything could happen to her face.

He had a cup of hot tea in his hand, and was blowing on it while he spoke.

The man denied the allegations, but said he did go to her bedroom to ask about an electricity bill. He also believed his wife had an affair.

The judge said he accepted the woman’s version of events. He said the sooner the parties were separated the better.