Woman granted barring order against partner after alleged rape and physical assaults

The man didn’t ‘know that no means no’ and forced her to have sex 15 to 20 times, the court heard

A woman has been granted a three year barring order against her partner after alleging he raped and physically assaulted her, including throttling her around the neck, during their relationship.

The man “doesn’t know that no means no” and forced her to have sex 15 to 20 times during their three year relationship, including six weeks after the birth of their second child, the woman told Cork District Court.

She said he also hit her around the head and verbally abused her, telling her she was “evil” and he wished she was dead. Asked was she in fear of him, she said: “I am behind closed doors.”

The man denied forcing himself sexually on the woman or physical assaulting her.


He said she had a poor diet and he had suggested she eat more healthily to improve her libido.

He made several allegations against the woman, which she denied, including that she drank copiously, behaved aggressively towards him and has poor parenting skills.

He said he threw a phone at a wall in the house on one occasion out of concern she was not addressing their baby’s health issues and it rebounded and hit the woman on the back of the head.

In her ruling, Judge Mary Dorgan said she found the woman's evidence "very harrowing".

The woman described “a litany of abuse” and the man seemed to have no insights into his behaviour, she said.

While he had said he barricaded himself some months ago into the woman’s house, where they had both lived with their children, because he had “nowhere to go”, this “ignored totally” the fact his actions had resulted in the woman and children leaving their house for four months, the judge said.

She ruled a barring order should be put in place for three years with no stay.

Earlier, cross-examined by the man's solicitor, Ciaran Murphy, the woman denied there were no grounds for her allegations and that she went to court out of "revenge" because the man reported her to the Child and Family Agency (CFA) for allegedly not dealing with the children's health issues.

No evidence has been found to support his claims and his report to the CFA was “a blessing in disguise”, she said. “If it was not for the social workers, I wouldn’t be here today, they helped me so much and gave me so much support to get the help I needed”.

The judge gave the woman a short recess after she began to physically shake when the solicitor asked her to outline her allegations that the man forced herself on her sexually.

When the court resumed, the woman denied the man’s claims that she shakes after being aggressive to him. She denied being aggressive to him and said she shakes “after the abuse”.

The man had admitted breach of an interim barring order obrained by the woman earlier this month. The woman said he had contacted her repeatedly by phone and by text saying, inter alia the children would be taken off her and placed in foster care.

This week, Judge Dorgan declined to dispose of the matter on the basis of sworn undertakings by the man and directed a hearing.

In evidence, the man apologised for breaching the interim order and said he was never in trouble before. He said he and the woman argued all the time, he loved her but he had concerns about her parenting. He denied physical beatings of her, sexual forcing himself on her or throttling her by the neck. He accepted he had called her “evil” and he apologised for that.

When the woman's solicitor Vicky Buckley put to the man his refusal to leave the house meant he was prepared to have the woman and their children out of the house for four months, he repeated he had nowhere to go and wanted to be with the children.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times