Quote from Elie Wiesel
We know of many people who were aware of the horrible things Dolores was enduring from her youngest son Ethan. The vast majority of these people remained silent before Dolores died, and have continued to remain silent to this day.

[Editor's note: This silence is so ingrained that it sometimes takes our breath away. Two examples:
  • A witness found Dolores restrained in her bed with electrical cord, weak and barely able to move. Dolores was freed by this person, eventually helped downstairs (scooting on their bums, a step at a time – that was all that Dolores could manage in her weakened state) and given a cup of tea. This person never raised an alarm, called the Gardai, or any other such thing.
    That person did inform members of that “I don't want to be involved.” And we know from other sources that this individual has a lot more knowledge about the abuse Dolores suffered from Ethan. Fortunately, we do have the initial statement detailing that episode and a few other incidents, at least.
    And we are very grateful that this person helped to free Dolores that morning. It was very difficult to undo the restraint, according to this person's account, and this action most likely saved Dolores' life.

  • Some of Dolores' children predicted months before she died that Ethan would murder her. After her death, they expressed their belief that this prediction came true. Yet, having knowledge of decades of abuse and a belief that their mother was going to be murdered by Ethan, they remained silent when begged repeatedly to speak out before it was too late for Dolores. For the most part they remained silent about the knowledge they have of the past abuse of both Cecil and Dolores to this day. And yet, some of these children are among those who blame Dolores for the horrible abuse she suffered.

Just two of many sad examples. We have given up trying to understand such things. We have come to the realization that we never will understand it. Nor will we ever be a part of it.  ]

And yet we are encouraged that once Saoise began sounding the alarm in December 2009, twenty seven people have found the courage to shine a light in the darkness, and share their knowledge of what Dolores and Cecil suffered from their youngest son Ethan. And still more people have detailed Ethan's abusive actions directed towards themselves and others.

We publish another account on this page. Anyone who knew and loved Dolores will be saddened by this account, which goes back as far as the early nineties and confirms once again the fact that Dolores suffered from decades of abuse. It comes from an unexpected source.

Twenty eight people confirm that Ethan Maxwell abused his mother Dolores.

Two people disagree: Ethan Maxwell and HSE Elder Abuse Caseworker Geoffrey Blair.



Dolores Maxwell was my next door neighbour for 28 years. She was a devout Catholic, and a loving, giving person. When I think about her, I see her in my mind as a nun, a Carmelite one, down there in Blackrock.

I remember how she loved Saoirse so much when she was little. I remember a time when she was about 10 when Dolores put her hair in ringlets and the look of love on her face. My own mother told me of Dolores' deep love for her when Saoirse had the cancer. Hold on to that love Saoirse, because all the beatings in the world from Ethan can never extinguish Dolores' true essence, which was love. You were her first born girl and she loved you dearly.

When we had our child's Christening, she was on top of the world that particular day. We had the best day. Dolores and my mother and the rest all chatting in our front room for hours, eating smoked Salmon. My partner remembers Dolores well.

I saw the letter purportedly signed by Dolores on the website. No way did she sign that!! Not the person I knew anyway.

My father saw Cecil with bruises a few times (black eye). He suspected it was Ethan and I don't know whether the police told my father, or someone else, but he was told that the complaint had to come from someone with solid proof – Cecil who had been assaulted – otherwise the Maxwell family could have sued my father for defamation of Ethan!! God Forbid!!

My mother also told me of meeting Dolores at the wall in the front there, and Dolores started to cry telling her that she was very upset about Ethan “always needing money” and “always looking for money.” My mother was devastated. She also told Dolores she needed to be strong and either ask Ethan to move out, or do something that Dolores could feel comfortable with.

My parents also told me that Ethan had physically assaulted your dad in the front garden, and that your mom had gotten that cleaning job years ago “to get out of the house (away from Ethan).” There were also reports of screaming and terrible verbal abuse. I think that particular abuse happened after I left. My father told me he had advised your father to call the Police and make a statement, quite a number of times. I cannot recall if my parents phoned the police about the assault. I think my dad went out one time and broke up a fight between your dad and Ethan. Ethan had hurt your mother, and then your dad had gone for Ethan. I remember one incident personally of Ethan and your dad physically fighting in the driveway.

My mother was terrified of Ethan. My father wasn't at all for some reason. But he was very adamant that Cecil should go to the Police and told him so (most esp. to protect Dolores). My mother was scared of course that interference of any kind could make everything worse for Dolores, and that Dolores should make the decision.

I advised my parents to move out of the house in around 1996 to 2000 – because of Ethan “getting worse and worse” but they thought that, because Ethan was a young man, he would probably move out anyway. Little did they know.

My mother also never forgot young Cecil who died as a baby, as she was there at the time. It broke her heart. I can't imagine what it did to Dolores'…

Hope my emails have not upset you, regarding Ethan. I have one word for him, KARMA. And it will come to him in one shape or another.

Saoirse, I wish I could turn the clock back and intervene more fully in your family's suffering. But I have to live with the fact that I did not look more deeply into your family's sufferings, and hence did nothing to help. Domestic Violence is everyone's business. If I see ANY kind of abuse now, I am on HIGH ALERT and always follow it up thoroughly; not only with people, but with animals as well!


[Editor's note: As always, we seek and encourage anyone with knowledge of Dolores' life and/or the events presented here to contribute to this site. Memories, anecdotes, photos and documents are more than welcome. Clarification, correction and alternative views are encouraged and welcomed. Submissions ]

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