Call for introduction of minimum sentence for rape
Rape survivor Fiona Doyle called for the introduction of a minimum sentence for rape during a meeting this evening with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Ms Doyle, whose father Patrick O'Brien (72) was jailed for three years last week having been convicted of raping her over a 10-year period, said her meeting with Mr Kenny "went very well" and described it as "very productive".
"We talked about everything", she told reporters outside Government Buildings. She said "a good few notes" were taken at the meeting, which lasted for over an hour, and added that she was hoping now that "something will be done".
During her meeting with Mr Kenny, Ms Doyle said she asked for the introduction of a minimum sentence for rape. She also asked for younger judges to preside over rape cases.
"I asked for the judges to be sensitised and trained in handling cases like my own". Ms Doyle said.
There was public outcry when Justice Paul Carney gave Ms Doyle's father a 12-year sentence, suspending nine years, and allowed him out on continuing bail pending an appeal.O'Brien was subsequently jailed after his bail was revoked.
Ms Doyle said Mr Kenny responded to her requests by saying he would take them "on board".
"He actually really wanted to know my story", she said. Mr Kenny asked her about the details of the case and the court process which resulted in the imprisonment last week of her father. "It was a bit emotional. I had to stop a few times," she said.
"I felt that the sentence that my dad got made me feel [that] I wasn't worth anything. That my story wasn't worth anything, that what happened [to] me wasn't worth anything because of the sentence he got and I just explained that to him. Hopefully that will make a difference."
Last Thursday, sentencing judge Mr Justice Paul Carney admitted it was “insensitive and not appropriate” to let Ms Doyle's father walk free from Dublin’s Central Criminal Court and revoked bail in the case.
O’Brien was originally released on bail the previous Monday pending an appeal to a prison sentence of 12 years, nine of which were suspended.
Ms Doyle waived her right to anonymity during the case and said afterwards that she was devastated by the sentence imposed on her father.
Speaking last week, Mr Kenny told the Dáil he would be willing to meet Ms Doyle to hear her views as a victim of unspeakable horror and her perspective on how a victim sees the workings of the court system.