'House of horrors' officer honoured
A Garda sergeant who led the investigation into the Roscommon "house of horrors" incest case has received an award for his work.
Sgt John Hynes said the six children at the centre of the harrowing ordeal were all getting on well with their lives.
He was recognised with a Garda Excellence Award for his role in the inquiry which led to the prosecution of the parents of the children, who were sexually abused and neglected for years.
After receiving the award at the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors' annual conference, he said ruining a childhood was the worst thing anyone could do.
"I don't think we'll ever know the full extent of what those children suffered," he said.
"They were able to relay the abuse suffered at the hands of their parents when the access was taken away from their parents.
"We were able to gain their trust. For someone living in such fear, all it takes is one look from that person to have the fear instilled in someone."
The so-called "house of horrors" case is considered one of the worst abuse cases to come before the courts.
The children were starved, beaten, raped and infested with head lice in their rat-infested remote home.
Their mother was jailed for seven years in January 2009 on 10 counts of incest, sexual abuse and neglect of her children, including forcing her 13-year-old son to have sex with her. Last year her husband was handed a 14-year-sentence on 47 counts of rape and sexual assault.