Rape victim asks Kenny for younger judges
Fiona Doyle outside Government Buildings after she met Enda Kenny yesterday. photograph: cyril byrne
Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he will “take on board” requests from rape victim Fiona Doyle for minimum sentencing and younger judges.
Ms Doyle and members of her family met Mr Kenny for a private meeting at Government Buildings yesterday in the wake of the controversy about her court case.
Ms Doyle’s father, Patrick O’Brien (72), was jailed for three years last month, having been convicted of raping her over a 10-year period. To her dismay, he was originally released on bail pending an appealof a prison sentence of 12 years, nine of which were suspended by the judge.
However, after a considerable public outcry, Mr Justice Paul Carney revoked bail in the case and sentenced him to three years in prison.
Ms Doyle said she was pleased with how her meeting with the Taoiseach went.
“It went on a lot longer than I thought he would give me but it was very productive. We talked about everything. I’m hoping now that there was a good few notes taken and that something will be done,” she said.
“I asked for a minimum sentence to be put on, especially for rapes and assaults. I asked for younger judges and for them to be sensitised and trained in handling cases like my own.”
Ms Doyle said the Taoiseach told her that the requests would “be considered” and she was happy with his response.
She was hopeful that the political system would take some action to make the courts system better for victims and that there would be an introduction of minimum sentencing. “All we can do now is wait and see.”
Ms Doyle said she was keen that minimum sentencing for rapists would be introduced following her experience.
“I just thought it was important because I felt the sentence that my Dad got made me feel I wasn’t worth anything, that what happened to me or my story wasn’t worth anything because of the sentencing he got. Hopefully that will make a difference.
“I think we need younger judges and ones that are trained and are sensitised to how a victim or a survivor might feel.”
She described her meeting with Mr Kenny as “emotional”.
“He didn’t rush me or didn’t seemed rushed, he sat down, took his time with me and it was great. I had to stop a few times. There’s a good few days between since my father was locked up and today, I didn’t think I’d still be as emotional as I was.”
Ms Doyle said she was heartened by the support she continued to receive.
“I can only describe it as the nation putting a blanket around me and keeping me warm. I’m still getting the support. I’m still in touch with the Facebook page and theres 12,000 people on that.
“I’m going up to Bray next week to meet some of the residents of Old Court because I just feel overwhelmed by the support I got.”
She said she intended to write a book but had no other immediate plans for the future.
Her daughter, Kristel, said she enjoyed meeting Mr Kenny. “We talked about everything, even the rugby and Jonny Sexton moving to France.”