The High Court has made interim orders to protect a 75-year-old woman with dementia who was urgently removed from her family home amid concerns for her welfare.

The most senior judge of the High Court has described as horrific and nauseating, details of a secretly recorded conversation in which the woman was threatened and verbally abused by her son.

High Court President Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he had been a long time on the bench and had never seen anything worse.

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A transcript of the recording showed the man making physical threats to his mother saying "I will f****** kick you hard", "I will bleeding knock you out" and "I will end you if you don't shut up". He also tells her it would take two seconds to end her if he covered her mouth.

He goes on to call her "brain dead", "retarded", "thick" and a "tramp".

The court heard doctors who had carried out hip replacement surgery were baffled as to how the woman's new hip became dislocated and there were concerns about physical violence and the inappropriate use of restraint.

Public health nurses and social workers reported concerns about neglect and there was also a concern about financial abuse, the judge said. 

The HSE has applied to make the woman a ward of court and as part of those proceedings the court was given a transcript of a recording made by another family member.

The man was present in the High Court and claimed it was an isolated incident. He accepted the recording was of a conversation with his mother and said he was absolutely ashamed.

He said he did not remember saying half of those things and asked the court for an adjournment to allow him "prove how well she was looked after". He said the contents of the conversation were "unacceptable". 

Mr Justice Kelly interjected to say it was more than unacceptable, adding: "I'm a long time on this bench and I have never seen the like of it. To think any son would address his aged and ill mother like that is disgusting.

"When I read the transcript there are some things in it that are even worse. It is the worse thing I have ever seen and I found it nauseating to think it was her son to whom she gave life who would speak to her like that. I found it horrific."

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The woman's son said he was the only one looking after his mother and could genuinely say this was an isolated incident.

He said none of his siblings helped to care for his mother. He said she received "the best of care" and he was "highly qualified" in this area.

When asked by the judge to outline his qualifications the man said he was qualified in natural medicine, along with other qualifications, and was skilled in dealing with people with dementia.

The judge then pointed out to him that a public health nurse who visited his mother described her as being unkempt, unwashed and lying in a urine soaked bed, which she was prevented from changing. The man denied this was the case.

The judge said whatever his qualifications, the man's "ability to look after his mother with care and kindness were put under a question mark when you see the transcript".

The woman's husband was also in court and said his son was "wonderful" to his wife and "she idolised the ground he walked on".

He said his wife often became agitated and he himself would use bad language and call her a "bitch", but would then leave the room so as not to agitate her further.

Mr Justice Kelly said people with dementia did not always know what they were saying, but those without dementia could choose what they said.

He said the language used against the elderly and ill woman was disgusting.

The judge said the woman had other children who did not live near her, but one of them made a recording, which he "had the misfortune to read the transcript".

He said it contained threats and information demonstrative of emotional abuse. There was also a concern that the woman had suffered a diabetic ketoacidtosis due to her son having administered something.

The judge has made interim orders that the woman should remain in hospital and that her husband and son must not administer any food or medicines to her unless given permission by doctors.

They will also be prevented from having access to the woman if doctors deem it appropriate.

The judge will decide later on an application by the HSE to make the woman a ward of court. The case has been adjourned for two weeks. The woman cannot be identified by order of the court.