A Roscommon mother who pleaded guilty to neglecting her children, two counts of incest and two charges of sexual abuse has been jailed for seven years.
The six children were forced to live in a filthy home, often with no food, and they had head lice so big that they ran down their faces.
The 40-year-old is the first woman in the history of the State to be convicted of incest.
This woman, who cannot be named to protect her children, was sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty at Roscommon Circuit Court to 10 charges, including two of incest, two of sexual abuse and six of neglect and wilful ill-treatment of the children between 1998 and 2004.
The court heard that social workers were called in as far back as 1996.
Health chiefs tried to take the children into care in 2000 but a group, described in court as a Catholic right-wing organisation, helped the mother financially and she won a High Court case blocking the care order.
The offences took place at the family's three-bedroom bungalow in Co Roscommon, which was dirty, strewn with rubbish, cold, damp and had dead rats and mice inside and out.
Judge Miriam Reynolds told the court that the children had been failed by everybody.