A Finn Valley mother of two is at her wits’ end trying to fend off the amorous advances of a pensioner who, according to her, has been making her life hell for almost a year now.
The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, says she has repeatedly tried to get the gardaí the HSE and the Office of Children Ombudsman involved and claims “they don’t want to know”. She adds she now has to confine her children to the back of her house for fear of what they might see.
“This man, who must be into his 70s, is continuously appearing naked and making lewd gestures to me and my kids. I’ve reported the matter to the local gardaí and they’ve warned him but told me the Director of Public Prosecutions won’t be taking the complaints any further because he’s doing it in the privacy of his own home.
“What can I do?” she said.
A garda spokesperson yesterday evening advised all members of the public who feel threatened to make a complaint to local gardaí.
The woman at the centre of the claim has spoken exclusively to Donegal on Sunday about what she has described as her “nightmare of a life”, the effect it’s having on her children, the lack of help from the authorities and her fears for the days and weeks ahead.
“For the past year or so I basically have to keep my children at the back of the house at all times. If he catches sight of me or them he will start making lewd gestures. He’s a pensioner. Even the way he came here was strange. He moved into his house and no one knew anything about it.
“He waits until it is dark then starts turning on and off his lights. He then turns on the light and he usually has nothing on.
“Then he starts performing acts on himself. It’s frightening to say the least. Since my oldest boy saw him doing this he’s a changed young fellow. It’s had a terrible effect on him.
“One night I had the gardai here and they saw him and went over to him and cautioned him but did nothing else. Another night he came up to my front door and put his telephone number through my letter box. When I challenged him on it the next day he said: ‘I thought you might like to phone me some night’. I told him I wouldn’t and not to be around my house again.
“This is a total and utter nightmare. I’ve been told by the gardai that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is not going to prosecute because he’s in his own home. I know he has been served with a court order but by continuing doing what he’s at he’s breached it. I’m very angry with the gardaí. They asked me to pursue it further but I told them unless they could guarantee me they were going to take on the case I couldn’t let my young son make a statement. My doctor agreed with this when I asked her about it.
“I also asked the gardaí if I could film him or take pictures of him to show what he was at but they told me I could be prosecuted for breaching his privacy.
“I think the gardaí know more about him than they are letting on because I got two different answers from them when I asked about his past and for a background check.”
The mother said she had also alerted a Social Worker from the HSE and the Children’s Ombudsman about what was happening but they kept passing the problem on, saying it had nothing to do with them.
“The Child Protection lady came out and interviewed me and my son one day. When my son was finished he went out to play but came rushing back in soon after saying the pensioner had been waving at him from his kitchen window.
“The Child Protection lady went to my child’s bedroom and saw the man waving at my children but when he spotted us he pulled his blind down. She couldn’t get over it but a few days later I got a letter from her saying it wasn’t a child protection case.
“I haven’t a clue what this man is capable of. Two weeks ago he waved trying to get my wee boy over to his house and I called the gardai out but I can’t see what they are doing. I am steady calling them out but I’m at my wits’ end. I can’t let the children walk to school or shops or walk up the road to friends in case he follows them. Now the children are in the back garden all the time and they are getting more and more frustrated. My boy was a loving wee fellow, now he has a temper all the time. We are prisoners in our own home.
“He tried to make contact a woman up the road until he realised she had a partner and stopped so he knows who to pick on.
“I’ve had no joy from any of the authorities. This man is exposing himself in front of me and my children and the gardaí are telling me there’s nothing can be done about it because he’s doing it in his own home - that’s not right. The authorities seem to be protecting him more than us and I wonder why? What kind of example is that for the young ones?
“I’m just petrified when my children go outside and what could happen. I can’t keep them locked up in the back garden all summer. I’ve lived here all my life, I don’t need this,” she said.