Sunday 20 August 2017

'House of hell' daughters tell of rapes and years of abuse

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A PENSIONER who raped and indecently assaulted his two daughters over a 16-year period is to be sentenced next week.

One of the daughters, who tried to take her own life in her teens, told the Central Criminal Court yesterday that the man "should not and does not deserve to be called a father".

Her sister said they grew up in "a house of hell" and had been left feeling dirty, damaged and scared.

The man (65), who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to 16 sample counts of indecent assault, unlawful sexual intercourse, rape and buggery of his two daughters between 1980 and 1996 at a Sligo location.

The court heard that the eldest daughter first recalled her father touching her while she lay on her bed when she was between five and 10 years old, but she believed it had been going on for some time before this.

The woman's younger sister told gardai that when she tried to tell her mother about the abuse her father had pulled out a handful of her pubic hair as a warning.

Det Gda Colleen O'Neill said the man first raped his eldest daughter when she was 10 or 11, and still in her school uniform, after giving her alcohol.

School

She said the abuse happened so frequently that the woman could only pinpoint certain incidents.

Det Gda O'Neill said the younger daughter recalled having to perform sex acts on her father each morning after she had dressed for school from the time she was about five. She recalled him trying to have sex with her one night when she was between six and seven as he had "easy access" to her bedroom.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy was told the man had "ruled his home with an iron fist". He was aggressive and violent towards all members of the family and wouldn't allow the first daughter or her mother to go to bed until he returned from the pub drunk.

Both women said the abuse had robbed them of the opportunity of an education. The first daughter, reading from her victim impact statement, said she still has flashbacks and has had operations to repair physical problems she suffered from the years of abuse.

In the second daughter's victim impact statement she said she suffers panic attacks, cannot hold down a job and took an overdose during her teens.

Mr Justice McCarthy rem-anded the man in custody pending sentence and placed him on the sex offenders' register.

Irish Independent

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