Mother-of-three sent girl, 11, Christmas card calling her 'a bitch'

Mother-of-three sent girl, 11, Christmas card calling her 'a bitch'

A 45-year old mother-of-three sent a “vile” Christmas card to an 11-year old schoolgirl, writes Gordon Deegan.

A judge said it was “a dastardly and appalling offence”.

In Kilrush District Court, Co Clare, yesterday, gardaí deemed the content of the card to be so offensive it could not be read out in open court.

The little girl was called “a bitch” and words to the effect of “we all hate you”.

In reply to the charge of sending a Christmas card through the post which contained words that were indecent, grossly offensive, and obscene, the woman said: “I’m so sorry. I was so wrong. If I could change things, I would. I will never do anything like that again.”

She pleaded guilty to the charge. On an application by solicitor John Casey, she was not identified.

“She has brought shame on herself,” he said.

The court heard previously that the girl, after opening the Christmas card last December in the upstairs of her home, came down screaming to her mother.

In court yesterday, Judge Patrick Durcan read out a victim impact statement from the girl, who has been receiving counselling as a result of the trauma brought on by the card’s contents.

In her statement, the girl said: “When I first got the letter, I was upset and kind of confused. I was a little mad and I really didn’t understand why someone would do it to me.”

She added: “I was kind of relieved when I found out who it was, because I didn’t really want to have to go to school and think ‘did this person send it to me?’”

The girl, who was not in court yesterday, said: “I was a bit confused why an adult would do that to me. I thought it was maybe something I had done that would make her do that. I was upset, because I didn’t want to think of Christmas as a time when I got a really mean letter.”

In order to identify the perpetrator’s hand-writing, the girl’s parents put the card up on Facebook and soon after the woman presented herself to gardaí.

Judge Durcan struck out the case after the woman agreed to pay €600 to the court’s poor box.

The judge said the offender had no previous convictions, has three children, was having difficulties at the time, and has herself received medical attention.

“It seems to me at this point the defendant has probably suffered considerably. Whatever issues there were to cause the defendant to do this are being addressed, medically.”

He told her: “You are not going to have a criminal record. I don’t think you are a criminal. I do think you have gone through a difficult time.

“There are cases where I hope a wrong will not lead to a complete septic situation; that is why I am making that order.”

Outside court yesterday, the girl’s father said: “It was a horrible and a grotesque thing to write to an 11-year-old. It was a despicable act.”

Earlier the judge had said a “vile package” of a malicious nature had been sent to the girl at a very sensitive time in the girl’s life.

The court had heard matters were fuelled by an incident between the defendant’s daughter and the victim when they were both aged eight.

Solicitor Mr Casey said that his client let her anger about the matter build up and said she was aware that this was an irrational reaction. He said she sought the help of mental health services.

This story first appeared in the

Read More:
Irish Examiner.

More in this Section

Three arrested following Irish teen's death in AustraliaThree arrested following Irish teen's death in Australia

Around 98% of Covid-19 tests showing negative, says HSEAround 98% of Covid-19 tests showing negative, says HSE

Four deaths and 57 new cases associated with Covid-19 confirmedFour deaths and 57 new cases associated with Covid-19 confirmed

North reports one new Covid-19 death and 25 extra casesNorth reports one new Covid-19 death and 25 extra cases


Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

More From The Irish Examiner