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Father not to be excused

Published 04/02/2009

Yes, the sexual abuse, starvation and neglect of six children by their alcoholic mother was shocking, repulsive and made very distressing reading (Belfast Telegraph, Jan 23).

But no mention whatsoever was made of the children's father.

They must have had one at one time. Is he dead? Or if alive, does he take no responsibility whatsoever for his children?

Will he, too, be brought to book for destroying his children's lives? And what of the many, many self-consumed, feral fathers who abandon and neglect the children they brought into the world? Do we really believe that it is less shocking for men to abuse and abandon their children than it is for a mother to do so?

There are a vast number of single mothers who can look at

their child and say ‘What would have become of my child if I had behaved as their father does: if I didn't bother to house, clothe, feed, educate and nurture him either?’

Let us not forget the many single mothers who shoulder full responsibility, including financial responsibility, for their children, because otherwise their children would starve.

Judith Thurley


Belfast Telegraph

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