Woman raped repeatedly by foster father says Tusla apology ‘doesn’t fix anything’

Kelly Kemmy waived her right to anonymity after Stephen Murray pleaded guilty

A young woman who was raped repeatedly by her foster father over a seven-year period has rejected an apology by the child and family agency Tusla and said it “doesn’t fix anything”.

Kelly Kemmy (24) waived her right to anonymity last Friday after her foster father, Stephen Murray (56) of Humphreystown, Valleymount, Co Wicklow pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape and sexual assault.

Murray was sentenced to 12 years with the final year suspended by Judge Paul McDermott.

Speaking outside the court on the day of sentencing, Ms Kemmy said she had been let down by Tusla.

On Sunday, the chief executive of Tusla Bernard Gloster publicly apologised to Ms Kemmy on RTÉ's This Week.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms Kemmy said Tusla’s apology was “meaningless and a little too late”.

“It’s only because of the attention this is getting publicly. It was nice to see them hold their hands up but it doesn’t fix anything, they have no defence for what happened to me while in the care of the State.”

Ms Kemmy said she had not heard directly from Tusla and only heard the apology “over the radio”.

Speaking on RTÉ on Sunday, Mr Gloster said Tusla was "dreadfully sorry this happened to her in the care of the State."

“When she was most entitled to expect to feel most safe and the person she should have been able to rely on most committed the most egregious acts sustained over a very long period of time. An apology is never going to be enough. It doesn’t go far enough.”

The abuse Ms Kemmy suffered was “an enormous let-down and breach of trust in a foster care system of over 4,000 carers who do really important work with children,” he said.

“In this case unfortunately in a very hidden and secretive way over seven years, the most serious acts of abuse were committed.”

Mr Gloster said an internal review was carried out and it will be shared with Ms Kemmy now that the criminal proceedings are over.

Ms Kemmy told The Irish Times she was “eager to see the internal investigation to see where it all went wrong” though she has not yet been given a timeframe on when she will receive the review.

“Supposedly the safeguarding system has improved over the years but I feel Tusla seriously needs to do something to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” she said.