Woman seeks barring order against husband who believes it is her duty to sleep with him

Wife tells court that husband’s attitude is that ‘if he wanted sex, he got sex’

Pic shows: Court 13 at the CCJ in Dublin where the trial of Graham Dwyer who has pleaded NOT guilty to the murder Elaine O'Hara has opened, Thursday 22-01-2015.
Pic: Collins Courts.

A woman has told a court that her husband’s attitude is that it is her duty to have sex with him.

At a Family Law Court hearing, the woman sought a barring order and a safety order against her husband.

In the witness box, the woman also said that her husband’s attitude has been “basically, I was his wife and if he wanted sex, he got sex”.

Solicitor Shiofra Hassett for the woman said that the man “has made reference to this in the presence of children where he has demanded you have sex with him”.


The woman said that this was the case where with one of their children present, the man asked while sitting on a couch at home “can we go up and have a ride?”

She said: “I said ‘are you joking?’ There are children in the house’. He was eating a chocolate bar and when I refused he went out to the pub.”

Judge Alec Gabbett said that he hoped the child “would not understand the comment”.

He said: “Thank God. That is the saving grace of that. The child might think they were going for a bicycle ride.”

In the case, Judge Gabbett refused permission for the woman to be cross examined on evidence connected to photos the husband had taken of his wife’s private diaries.

The woman said: “He went through all my stuff – found my diary and took pictures of it.”

Judge Gabbett said: “I am not impressed by that.”

Before the couple’s relationship broke down, the two spent a night away at a local seaside resort. Solicitor for the husband, Mairead Doyle, said that her client had written a positive email about the time away.

Judge Gabbett commented: “Your client sees it as Utopia – she sees it as an episode of Smother – I don’t know where we are.”

Judge Gabbett said the barring order application did not meet the threshold.

Ms Doyle said there was no history of violence in the relationship and the woman is not in fear.

However, Judge Gabbett said it was obvious to him that the children are suffering emotional abuse by the marital breakdown brought on by the man’s excessive drinking.

He said: “It really is concerning that the children are in counselling from all of this – that is a significant issue.”

Ms Doyle said her client denies he is an alcoholic but Judge Gabbett said that the man is in thrall to alcohol.

He already has a health condition and Judge Gabbett told the man that the health condition combined with the excessive drinking meant he was “holding a revolver to your head with six bullets in the chambers”.

The mother said that she had no confidence that her husband will abide by a TUSLA Safety Plan in place for the children.

The woman said if her husband insists on staying at the family home, she would have to leave.

After a brief adjournment, Ms Hassett said the two sides had agreed that the man would vacate the family home for the next 12 months and stay away from the home and the barring order application could be adjourned for one year.

Ms Hassett said that her client was consenting to a safety order for three years. Ms Hassett said that the couple have also agreed to enter mediation.

Judge Gabbett said that the two sides reaching an agreement was very helpful as in the future they will want to be there for their children on their wedding days and their Leaving Cert days.