In praise of Fiona Doyle


There is no shortage of reasons to admire Fiona Doyle: when suffering horrific abuse by her father, she endured; when confronted with institutions that ignored her allegations, she persisted.

Finally, when the justice system let her down so very badly, she had the courage to waive her right to anonymity and in effect shame the courts into doing the right thing.

In all respects, Fiona Doyle has shown uncommon courage and bravery – for all this and more, we owe her a great deal.

We have, unfortunately, become far too used to cases in which the perpetrators of violent abuse against women receive unfathomably light sentences, and Ms Doyle’s articulate anger and brave righteousness have forced us to confront this unacceptable fact.

The frequency of light sentencing for such crimes is not just a shameful failing of the judiciary, but is actively corrosive to our sense of society.

Furthermore, by so visibly ensuring that justice was done in this case, it must be hoped that Ms Doyle has encouraged other victims of such abuse to pursue justice – a justice that our society’s institutions must be capable of delivering.

Fiona Doyle refused to be defined by her victimhood, and in the process she has become an inspiration.

We must not let her down again.