Rape by father was as often 'as having dinner'

Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 00:00

A woman raped as a child by her father for 10 years told gardaí the abuse became as frequent as having dinner, a court has heard.

Fiona Doyle said her father, Patrick O’Brien (72), raped her every night when her mother went out to play bingo.

Waiving her right to anonymity, she told the Central Criminal Court that no sentence imposed on O’Brien could “undo the enormous damage that my father has done to me”.

She said: “It is something I have lived with since I was a young child and it’s something I will have to live with until the day I die”.

Suicide attempts

As a result of the abuse she said her first marriage failed and she made two serious suicide attempts.

She said she attempted to change her appearance through plastic surgery: “I had many operations which I see now was a form of self-mutilation.”

O’Brien, Old Court Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 charges of the rape and indecent assault of Ms Doyle at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road, Dún Laoghaire, from 1973 to 1982.

He was remanded on continuing bail to appear before Mr Justice Paul Carney for sentencing next Monday.

First Holy Communion

The abuse began when O’Brien raped the victim the night before she was to make her First Holy Communion, when she was about seven.

Ms Doyle told the court: “My mother went off to bingo, leaving me at the mercy of my father, almost certainly knowing what he would do to me. My father raped me that night. I remember lying in bed that night but being unable to sleep because of the pain.”

Det Garda Darragh Phelan told Monika Leech, prosecuting, that there was a culture of fear and violence in the home and Ms Doyle’s mother would call her a “whore” while beating her. Ms Doyle said she believes her mother knew about the abuse.