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DPP to appeal Patrick O'Brien sentence

Fiona Doyle said today that she may also pursue her mother in the courts.

Fiona Doyle speaking to the media outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin after her father was sent to prison.
Fiona Doyle speaking to the media outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin after her father was sent to prison.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Updated 15:10

THE DIRECTOR OF Public Prosecutions (DPP) has lodged appeal papers in the case of convicted rapist Patrick O’Brien with an application regarding the ‘undue leniency’ of the sentence.

O’Brien was sentenced to 12 years in jail with nine suspended after pleading guilty to raping and indecently assaulting his daughter Fiona Doyle over a ten year period.

Speaking to Pat Kenny on RTÉ radio this morning, Doyle said she was hopeful the DPP would be successful in ensuring that her father served the full 12 years of his sentence, “to get some taste of the isolation and loneliness – the feelings I had as a child”.

Doyle also said she hoped to be able to pursue her mother in the courts but said the lack of child protection laws in the 1970s and 1980s may prevent that.

Welcoming the DPP’s decision today Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said Doyle’s “courage and generosity of waiving her right to anonymity to encourage others to stay the course of the criminal justice system, has  given other victims hope of justice and courage for them to report the heinous crimes committed against them”.

She said that having nine years of the 12 year sentence suspended was not an encouraging message to send to others who had similar experiences.

“It will also have far reaching positive affects  for the safety of Irish society,” she said. “It sends a message to perpetrators of these crimes that they will be punished appropriately.”

Related: Fiona Doyle meets Taoiseach to discuss court experiences>

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