Sisters of Charity seek to halt action for damages citing no record of alleged rapist

Woman says she was raped by a groundsman employed in Magdalene Laundry

The Sisters of Charity have asked the High Court to halt an action for damages brought against them by a woman who alleges she was raped and sexually assaulted over years by a groundsman employed in a Magdalene Laundry

The Sisters of Charity have asked the High Court to halt an action for damages brought against them by a woman who alleges she was raped and sexually assaulted over years by a groundsman employed in a Magdalene Laundry

Fri, Jan 31, 2014, 17:39

The Sisters of Charity have asked the High Court to halt an action for damages brought against them by a woman who alleges she was raped and sexually assaulted over years by a groundsman employed in a Magdalene Laundry.

The woman claims she was so traumatised by the assaults that, to stop the groundsman accosting her on her way to and from school, she hammered her knee with a paperweight to such an extent she was hospitalised with a fractured knee and avoided going to school.

Her life has been severely affected by her experience. She changed from being a happy, normal child to one who became self-destructive, hated school, herself and people, left school early and developed alcohol, medication and relationship problems, it is claimed.

She says the assaults began when she was 12 and continued until she left school at 15.

Now in her 40s, the woman has sued the Sisters of Charity, alleging they are vicariously liable for severe personal injuries and emotional suffering arising from the alleged assaults of the groundsman from 1977 to 1980.

The man, the court heard, is believed to be dead.


Sisters of Charity
In a pre-trial application yesterday for an order halting the case, the Sisters of Charity say they are prejudiced in defending it on grounds including delay and having no records of the groundsman, including any written record of his being an employee. In an affidavit on behalf of the order, it was stated the woman’s claims are subject to a Garda investigation which has not yet concluded as it has not proven possible to establish if the groundsman had died.

After submissions concluded yesterday, Mr Justice Barrett reserved judgment.