Unhappy couple agree to ban on entering each other’s bedroom and bathroom

Couple reach court deal after woman decides not to proceed with a safety order application against her husband

Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES


An unhappily married couple “trapped” in their own home have agreed court approved bans from each other’s bedroom and bathroom in the house.

The grand-parents are married almost 40 years and in an agreement brokered by the couple’s solicitors, the husband has agreed not to enter his wife’s bedroom and the bathroom designated for her use in the house.

In return, the wife has agreed not to enter her husband’s bedroom or his designated bathroom.

The couple reached the deal after the woman decided not to proceed with a safety order application against her husband.

In evidence securing a temporary protection order, the woman said that the verbal abuse from her husband has been continuing for 10 years and in December he elbowed her into the face.

The woman said that she has taken overdoses in the past due to the stress from the abuse.

She told the family law court in Ennis: “Why should I have to put up with the abuse he has given me? My father slapped me with a strap and I can see the marks he gave me.”

Addressing the court, the woman’s husband said: “I regret what has happened. I really am sorry what has happened. I really can’t turn back the clock.”

He said: “She has said as much to me as I have said to her. All I want is the use of my bedroom and the use of my bathroom, up and down to the kitchen – that is all.”

He said: “Our marriage is completely and truly over. If she wants to have her protection order, I have no hesitation in letting her have it, but I want no more to do with this woman.”

The court was told that the two live in a council home, and they are trapped in this house.

Judge Patrick Durcan said that the woman was under the protection of the courts by virtue of the Protection Order he granted.

He had earlier complimented the couple on their many years of marriage together.

Judge Durcan said it was ‘very sad’ that the two should be in such a situation.

He said: “It is not looking across a court room at each other you should be – it is looking across a fireplace watching the telly having a nice cup of tea.”

Judge Durcan urged both sides to talk outside court before proceeding with giving evidence against each other in the safety order application.

The two left court and returned shortly after with the agreement not to enter each other’s bathroom and bedroom.

The agreement will require some plumbing work to the home and Judge Durcan adjourned the case to February 1st to allow that work take place.