A judge has told a 40-year-old man who lives rent-free with his mother that she would be better off getting rid of him out of the house and taking in a lodger instead.
At the family law court in Ennis, Judge Patrick Durcan made his comment before granting a safety order for two years to the woman against her son.
Judge Durcan granted the safety order arising from a recent incident at the home where the woman called the gardaí after the man pulled at her and she fell to the floor in her own bedroom.
In a statement, the woman told Judge Durcan: “I am in fear.”
The man works full-time but does not pay any money to his mother for bed or board.
The mother told Judge Durcan: “He is a weekend drinker, he is living with me rent-free and he has previously been violent and damaged my home.”
Judge Durcan told the man: “Wouldn’t she be much better off to get rid of you and take in a lodger for €80 a week? You must be costing her €100 a week.
"You would want to look into a mirror and you would want to wake up.
“Do you accept that you haven’t been a good son to your mother?”
In response, the man said: “I think that works both ways — the arguments we have are always the same argument — about money.”
Judge Durcan asked: “Do you give her money?”
The man replied: “No — and that’s the problem.”
Judge Durcan asked: “Does she feed you?”
The man replied “yes”. The judge asked: “Does she look after your clothes?” and the man replied “yes”.
When asked by Judge Durcan “do you give anything to your mother”, the man replied: “I have now and again but not very often.”
Judge Durcan asked him: “Have you got a camper van or a little caravan organised?”
In reply, the man said: “I would prefer to sleep in a car or in the bushes than sleep in a caravan.”
Earlier in the case, the mother dismissed a proposal that her son would give her €400 a month and behave himself.
She said: “That would have been OK but it is too late now.”
In reply, Judge Durcan said: “It is never too late — what happens if you trip or you slip or something happened you?”
The mother told the judge: “There is pressure and my health is affected. He has cost me too much hassle.”