Belfast Telegraph

Mairead, look at your dad and see the love of a decent parent

By Lindy McDowell

Your children. As a mother or father you like to think you'd go through the very fires of hell for them. The obvious exception to this parental rule being Mr and Mrs Philpott.

Since the trial of this obnoxious pair, it's been Shameless Mick who has dominated the headlines and ensuing media analysis about how could any parent ever do such a thing.

But what of Mairead?

She was there on that terrible night too. She'd been involved in the planning.

What makes a woman go along with such an evil, and it has to be said, stupid plan?

And then when it ends in such utter, unimaginable horror, what sort of "grieving" mother continues to cover up the truth?

Mairead Philpott lost all six of her children that night. But still had the composure to lie to the police.

Her family who come originally from Northern Ireland believe the only explanation is that she was entirely dominated by Philpott.

For years they'd seen her as vulnerable and abused and attempted to get her away from him. Her sisters describe how she was so unhappy in the months before the fire that she'd even tried to take her own life.

They begged her to leave Mick. It didn't work.

Mick Philpott brutalised and bullied her they say. But still they think what she did was unforgivable.

Her father, Jimmy Duffy, says it is wrecking him to think of what she did.

But he also says that she is his daughter and he can't turn his back on her.

"She is my daughter. I couldn't give up on her. You can't give up on your own flesh and blood. I can't. I am not that type," he says.

Whatever you think of Mairead, you have to respect the words of the father now going through hell.

And not least because in the dark story of the Philpotts and their unspeakable betrayal of their children, it is the only glimmer of real parental love and decency.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph