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'I want my rapist father to die in prison for what he did to me': Woman continues fight for justice

The woman at the centre of an historical abuse allegation has written to the DPP asking for the reasons as to why her father was not charged.

Earlier this month, TheJournal.ie reported how a woman’s rape claims were ‘shelved’ by gardaí for 11 years. Here we talk to her, at length, about how this still impacts her – and how she is still looking for justice and closure. 

A WOMAN WHO was repeatedly raped by her father as a child has opened up about the devastating effects the abuse had on her and what it felt like not to be believed.

The woman, whose rape claims were allegedly shelved by gardaí for 11 years, said her father first raped her as a child in the early 1980s and encouraged one of her brothers to do the same. Her claims were verified by social workers and in documents seen by TheJournal.ie, a social worker said “the father accepts he abused her”.

However, even though the woman brought her claims to gardaí in 1997 when she was in her 20s, the case was only passed on to the Director of Public Prosecutions 11 years later, in 2008. The file was eventually passed to the DPP who said no charges should be brought against the father.

redact A letter from the Eastern Health Board confirming victim suffered fit and was brought to hospital. Also details family is known to health services. Source: TheJournal.ie

In an interview with TheJournal.ie, the woman said she wants her father to die in prison.

“I’m in my 40s now. My father hasn’t faced any form of justice… I want him to die in prison. I want the world to know who this man is and what he has done.

“My brother also abused me but he killed himself when my dad was brought in for questioning. He knew he was going to be next.

“My dad is still living and everyone around where he lives thinks he is such a nice old man. But he’s a child abuser and he’s done so many awful things.”

The woman says she was abused from the age of 7. TheJournal.ie earlier this month reported on her case.

She has written to the DPP in recent weeks asking for the reasons as to why her father was not charged and has also pleaded with them to re-investigate the case.

Since the abuse began, the victim would be repeatedly told that she was making up the allegations. When she got the call from gardaí in 2008 saying her father was not to be prosecuted, she says it brought back memories of her childhood.

I remember getting the phone call and it was like someone had kicked me in the stomach. For years, I was told I was liar and that I was a troublemaker and how dare I do this to my father. But it was my dad who was touching me and having sex with me and making me do things I never wanted to do. To hear them on the phone basically saying they didn’t believe me, that hurt as much as the abuse, really.

“But I just didn’t understand it either. Why would me and my sisters be taken into care? Why would a judge say it wasn’t safe for us to be there? Why did the social workers say that my dad admitted he abused me? It’s not a case of his word against mine. There’s so much evidence and he’s just sitting there living his life and I’m finding it so hard to get on with mine.

“For years, I’ve been reading court cases about rape and abuse and a lot of the times people have come forward with no documents and accused someone of doing something. These cases have gone to court. I don’t understand why mine hasn’t. I need it to happen.”

Documentation by the Eastern Health Board (EHB) and social workers seen by TheJournal.ie confirms the following:

  • The woman was sexually assaulted as a child
  • Her father and brother performed “full intercourse” with the child
  • Child sex abuse was confirmed by the social workers and EHB
  • Her father cut a hole in her wall and would routinely watch his daughters undress
  • She and her three sisters were placed in care for a time. She was 7 at the time.
  • Two older sisters were then sent to a home in the southeast of the country
  • The victim and her younger sister went to a children’s home in north Dublin
  • All the girls were returned to the family home after six months
  • No male child was ever removed from their family home
  • Court documents show that the parents were not fit to take care of her

hse final A child abuse notification detailing that her father accepts he abused her. Source: TheJournal.ie

CSA2 REDACT FINAL A letter from a social worker detailing some of the alleged abuse. Also references large file on the family held at child and family centre. Source: TheJournal.ie

blanch redact A letter from the Eastern Health Board confirming victim suffered fit and was brought to hospital. Also details family is known to health services. Source: TheJournal.ie

TheJournal.ie had contacted the following State organisations:

  • An Garda Síochána
  • The DPP
  • Tusla
  • HSE

None of the organisations would comment on her case. However, for the victim, this is something she expected.

Nobody ever cared about us anyway. They sent us back to that house and we were abused over and over again. I lost count of how many times it happened to us. I still have nightmares about what happened.

“It’s nearly 10 years since the DPP told me my dad would never get charged with any crime. I’m only now in a position where I feel strong enough to go after him again. I need someone to care. He needs to go to prison for what he has done to us. I don’t care if he spends the rest of his life in there. It’s the only way I can get closure on this whole thing.”

TheJournal.ie contacted the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Justice and the DPP for comment on the case. Both departments said that this case did not fall under their remit. The DPP said it could not comment on an individual case and on questions around the woman’s appeal, and directed us to their website for regulations and deadlines relating to applications.

An Garda Síochána declined to formally comment on the accusations or on whether an internal investigation was conducted into the woman’s claim that she was told her file was “forgotten” for 11 years.

However, they said they were satisfied that a file was sent to the DPP in 2009 and that no prosecution was recommended.

Tusla has said that it can’t comment on the case as it occurred before the child and family agency was set up.

The HSE was contacted for comment about protocols which were in place regarding child sex abuse reports and what standard procedure at the time was for bringing these issues to the attention of gardaí.

They referred us to Tusla.

Read: Woman’s rape claims against father and brother were ‘shelved’ by gardaí for 11 years >

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