IN AN arrest that echoes a disturbing recent case in Sweden, Waterford mother Sheila Power has been taken into custody and charged with son-based mollycoddling which gardaí believe spanned over five decades.
“It’s the worst case of its kind we’ve ever seen,” arresting officer Pat Carty told WWN, as he observed Power’s son Andrew, 49, sitting helpless on his mother’s sofa.
“People say the neglect of children is bad, but oftentimes it’s the mollycoddling that’s worse; look at this poor lump, social workers say he’s never made a meal for himself in 49 years. It’s tragic,” added Carty.
The mother, upon her arrest, was heard by neighbours shouting “but who’ll change the sheets on his bed? Please, don’t arrest me, I’ve a wash of his jocks on, they need putting out on the line. Who’ll butter his toast, you can’t put me in prison”.
Mollycoddling among Irish mothers, while down from record levels in the 1990s, is still a huge issue in Irish society, setting adult sons up for a life of uselessness, completely depriving them of the inclination to carry out any household tasks with next to no ability to fend for themselves.
Such was Andrew’s lack of neglect doctors assessed that his hands were as weak as a newborn’s from a life of barely lifting a finger.
“It’s cruelty of the highest order,” explained one social worker, “thanks to his mother’s indulging of him poor Andrew has no idea what shirt collar or waist size he is, he thinks the dishwasher loads and empties itself. I hope they lock her up for good and throw away the key.