Former FF mayor tells of abuse pain


AN ABUSE victim and former Fianna Fáil mayor last night told Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey that the Government had not “the foggiest” understanding of victims’ pain.

In a sensational contribution to RTÉ’s Questions And Answers, Michael O’Brien from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, told Mr Dempsey: “I am surprised at you, Minister. You made a bags of it at the time.

“I went to the commission.They had seven barristers there questioning me, telling me that I was telling lies. I was raped, and got an unmerciful beating and he then came along the following morning and put Holy Communion in my mouth. You don’t know what happened. You haven’t got the foggiest. You are talking through your hat, and you are talking to a Fianna Fáil man, that worked tooth and nail for the party that you are talking about. You didn’t do it right. You don’t know the hurt I feel inside.”

The commission was not non-adversarial, he said, adding that he tried to commit suicide on his way home after spending five days giving evidence.

Pointing to his wife, he said: “There is the woman who saved me. They brought a man – 90 odd years of age – to tell me I was telling lies, that I wasn’t beaten for an hour by two of them. Non-stop. Non-stop for two hours without a shred of clothes on my body. My God, Minister.

Turning to Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar, Mr O’Brien said: “I want to speak to your leader, and tell him to stop making a political football. You hurt us when you do that. You tear the shreds of clothes. For God’s sake, try and give us some peace, try and give us some peace, and not continue hurting us.”

The apology given in 1999 by then taoiseach Bertie Ahernwas “mealy-mouthed, but at least it was an apology,” said Mr O’Brien.

Calling for a constitutional amendment to seize the assets of the religious orders, he said the public would “gladly pass” one.

He told Mr Dempsey: “You can change it. You run this State. Stop mealy-mouthing. I am sick of it. You are turning me off voting Fianna Fáil which I have done since the day I could vote.“