'I feel vindicated - that was all I wanted'
Scenes of anguish outside the Central Criminal Court earlier this week gave way to quiet vindication yesterday as a daughter watched the father who raped her for a decade being led to prison.
“I stood there and waited until he went right through those doors . . . that was all I wanted,” said Fiona Doyle from outside the court.
Minutes earlier in Court 6, Ms Doyle heard Mr Justice Paul Carney explain his sentencing which three days earlier had seen her father walk free.
Ms Doyle watched quietly as her father (72) was led from court to begin his jail term.Gardaí carried his packed bag as he navigated the ramp with his walking frame. His wife Bridget left the court alone.
“I feel vindicated – and that was all I wanted,” Ms Doyle said as she faced the crush of cameras and microphones outside.
Supported by her husband Jim and her son Paddy, she said: “He might now feel the loneliness and the lack of support and the isolation that I have felt for over 40 years.”
Responding to the barrage of media questions, she said: “I would just ask my dad, as a sign of remorse, not to appeal this three-year sentence.”
Asked if she accepted Mr Justice Carney’s “apology”, she said “regret was the word” he had used and she said she “accepted his regret”.
“I’ve waited for this day for over 20 years, since I first brought the first complaint to the gardaí and the HSE.
“They were like everybody else – my school, my teachers, doctors, hospitals – they let me down. Nobody would believe me.”
It was this experience that she said she was looking forward to sharing at a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny next Wednesday.
To victims who may be deterred from seeking justice because of her experience in court, Ms Doyle added: “Look at my face today compared to last week. I’m happy.
“It’s been a rough ride, but it’s worth it.”