Monday 18 February 2019

Husband's anger at Christmas TV row and mother-in-law 'in her underwear'

(stock image)
(stock image)

A man told his wife that he would be sending her a bill for the cost of accommodating her "exceptionally difficult" and "disruptive" mother in the marital home.

At the family law court in Ennis, Co Clare, the man said his 78-year-old mother-in-law broke a number of boundaries while staying at their home.

Documenting the instances, the man said that his mother-in-law came into the marital bedroom in her underwear one Saturday morning when he was having a lie-in with his wife; rearranged his socks, underwear and shirts in his wardrobe, and went into the en-suite bathroom when he was drying himself after a shower.

"For me, enough was enough," he told the court.


In evidence, the man said: "I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for her, non-stop.

"I would make her favourite dish, sherry trifle, and she pours the extra bit of sherry in for herself."

The court heard that the couple's marriage "has irretrievably broken down" due to a financial issue and that the presence of the mother-in-law at the home had been a continuing source of tension over recent months.

In the case, the man's wife was seeking a safety order against her husband. However, Judge Fiona Lydon said that it had not been proved that a safety order was required and dismissed the application.

The wife told the court that he told her: "I can expect, from his solicitor, a bill for my mother staying in the family house. However, I pay all the bills."

One flashpoint was last Christmas, when the Clare man was watching a Tommy Fleming concert on TV.

He told the court: "I poured myself a glass of wine and at around 11.45pm, the mother just burst through the door and she was ranting about the television being on. I was highly offended - this woman was a guest in my house."

The woman had been staying with the couple on and off for a number of years, and arrived at the martial home last June and remained there until recently.

The man said that because of his mother-in-law's "sulking behaviour, she is an exceptionally difficult woman".

The court also heard that she pulled up plants and shrubs that did not appeal to her and threw them into the bin.

His counsel told the court that the mother-in-law "has been causing so much trouble and strife, and is so disruptive".


The man told the court that his marriage was over after he felt that he had been "played" by his wife, when he claimed she reneged on a commitment on the ownership of the marital home before he spent €100,000 renovating it.

This was rejected by the woman's solicitor, who said that she paid half the deposit for the home and has repaid all mortgage payments to date.

The man rejected allegations that he had threatened violence against his wife or is capable of violence.

"That's nonsense. Absolute nonsense," he said.

In her ruling, Judge Lydon said that the wife in the case is obviously stressed due to the relationship breaking down and asked her husband "to treat her with the respect she is due".

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