Rape trials: weighing up the two rights that make prosecuting rape so difficult

Legal observers believe we can now weigh up the right of defendants to a fair trial

Leona O’Callaghan:  Those were “four years of my life that I won’t get back, where my kids didn’t have a mum, where I was in and out of hospital.” Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

Leona O’Callaghan: Those were “four years of my life that I won’t get back, where my kids didn’t have a mum, where I was in and out of hospital.” Photograph: Laura Hutton/Collins Photo Agency

“I barely made it through. I sit here and I look you in the eye, and I tell you it tore me to pieces.”

Hours after her rapist was sentenced to 17 years in prison last week, Leona O’Callaghan went on RTÉ television to deliver her verdict on a legal process that had taken four years. Those were “four years of my life that I won’t get back, where my kids didn’t have a mum, where I was in and out of hospital.”

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