independent

Friday 25 April 2014

'I left court as an orphan after father jailed for abuse' – Fiona

RAPE victim Fiona Doyle has told how she walked out the doors of the courtroom an "orphan" after her abusive father was jailed.

Ms Doyle said she felt "pity" for her father and abuser Patrick O'Brien (72) but could not forgive him for taking her childhood.

"I walked out those court doors an orphan, because I left my mother sitting inside there," she said.

Earlier this week, there was stark criticism from rape victims' groups when O'Brien was released on bail pending an appeal of his 12-year sentence, with nine suspended. Mr Justice Paul Carney later apologised to the victim for any distress caused as he revoked O'Brien's bail.

It has emerged Ms Doyle believes she was first abused by her father when she was just four or five. However, the rape before her First Communion was the first incident her father admitted to.

"I was put on a rollercoaster, handcuffed to it, and it was let go; there was nobody there," said Ms Doyle on her destroyed childhood.

"I had an awful lot of anger inside me, I piled on the weight, I didn't feel attractive. I hated everything about me and of course nobody knew. This was hidden from everybody."

She told how her father would abuse her after calling her downstairs for a coffee when her mother went to bingo. Eventually, she told how she would ask her father if he wanted his coffee when she heard the theme tune to a television programme she liked so she could watch it and "switch off" from the abuse.

Burden

"I'm going to a counsellor the past two years, and I know I didn't do nothing wrong but it doesn't stop you feeling uncomfortable," she said on RTE's 'Late Late Show'. "Even what the judge said, 'I didn't want to carry this burden'. He felt that burden."

Ms Doyle said she was brought to a hospital as a young girl after a doctor told her mother she had genital warts. Yet, she said that had not set any alarm bells ringing that she might be being abused.

Her daughter Kristel O'Brien (26) told the Irish Independent the family have been informed that a meeting with Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan was being arranged.

She says her mother hopes he will explain why action was not taken after she first approached gardai 24 years ago.

"She is hoping she will get an apology because the first allegation she made of what happened never went on record," said Kristel.

"She would like to be given a reason why that happened. She was 22 years old and she reported exactly the same thing she did this time around.

"It was only when she made the second complaint that she realised there wasn't a record of the first one."

Kristel said her mother's book, due out in March, would give details of horrendous abuse, including incidents at a graveyard and a golf course.

Ms Doyle is due to meet the Taoiseach at noon on Wednesday to discuss sentencing for rapists.

Irish Independent

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