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But on arriving, Mrs W was told she was barred from seeing him because approval had only been given to her mother. It was a brief and, by her own admission, ill-judged reunion. On being told social services planned to take the new baby into care, Mrs W decided to flee with L.
Over the previous weeks she had saved what she could, sold most of her possessions and quit her office job.
His fifth birthday marked a particularly low point for her.
She had gone with her mother to meet a social worker in a car park, from where the pair expected to be driven to see the boy at a contact centre. "L was so upset, asking my mother where I was and why I hadn't been there for his birthday." Desperate to re-create a stable family environment in the hope of winning the court's favour, Mrs W allowed her husband to move back in with her.
"They should have enforced an exclusion order against him.
But instead, by taking L away from me, they caused him far worse emotional trauma than if he'd stayed with me." A family court initially placed Boy L with his grandmother, Mrs W's mother.
"The violence was not frequent and fortunately L had only seen it on a few occasions when he was very small.
As it happens, I was the one who had approached social services asking them to help my husband battle his drinking.
Two puppies play on the lawn, overlooked by a paddock where neighbours graze their horses.
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Gazing out of her kitchen window across the rolling hills of the Irish countryside, a young woman with long dark hair and steely blue eyes wraps her arms around her six-year-old boy and takes a deep breath.
As the weeks passed, she had less contact with him.
Visits were cancelled at the last minute by social workers and on occasion, she says, they failed to turn up with her son at the arranged location.