*The matter was before the Family Law Court. 

A BUSINESSMAN urinated on his wife, spat into her face when drunk and punched a pony in the head, it has been alleged in court.

At the Family Law Court, the wife in the case made the domestic violence allegations as part of her Safety Order application.

After hearing the wife’s grounds for a Safety Order against her husband and that she is “finished with him”, Judge Alec Gabbett commented that “this is a very tragic marriage breakdown”.

He said, “I’m sorry to say that unfortunately because of the assets the couple have accumulated, it is going to be one of those divorces that will take a while where they all fight it to the death and there is no money left”.

Judge Gabbett urged the couple to go to the Circuit Court and get on with the separation.

In evidence, the woman told the court that “there have been some physical issues over the years” in reply to a question from Judge Gabbett.

She said, “He grabbed me by the arms and put bruises on me. One time he actually urinated on me. He spat on my face when he was drunk”. She added, “He has thrown appliances, he has smashed phones”.

She said, “He once punched a pony in the head and he said ‘that is what you have to do to teach them’”.

The woman said that two grown up children have left the house “because they were aware that they were living in an abusive situation”.

Arising from the woman’s evidence during the course of the Safety Order application, her husband gave a sworn undertaking in court not to use or threaten to use any violence against her and the couple’s children.

Represented by solicitor, Colum Doherty, the man has also undertaken to stay out of the family home pending matters being decided in the Circuit Court.

Judge Gabbett said that on the basis of the sworn undertaking, he was happy to strike out the Safety Order application.

Judge Gabbett said that if there was a breach of the sworn undertaking, the woman could re-enter the Safety Order application.

Judge Gabbett said that the application made by the woman was “a very appropriate one”.

He said “it is a very difficult thing to do.”

The woman said that she waited a number of months to bring the proceedings under Domestic Violence legislation after a flashpoint at home “as it was a very, very difficult decision for me to make to try not to repair the relationship”.

The woman said after a flashpoint at home sparked by her husband allegedly threatening violence on a family pet and subsequent row, “this time I thought ‘no that’s enough’ and I wouldn’t beg him not to finish with me”.

She said, “I felt very intimidated and scared of the process and the repercussions of going down this road”.

She added, “I am very scared and very intimidated by him. I am walking on eggshells and I am full of anxiety when he comes home”.

The woman alleged that her husband is “controlling” and said that he has verbally abused her “calling me all kinds of names including the ‘C word’”.

She said that over the years the man has told her at times that she “looks like a prostitute or a slut” before she was going out.

The woman said that her husband “has been extremely financially controlling”.

The woman said that her main driver in bringing the Safety Order application was for the couple’s youngest child who continues to live at home.

The husband gave the sworn undertaking at the end of the woman’s evidence and did not get the opportunity to go into evidence to rebut any of the claims made by his wife.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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