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Thursday 18 September 2014

Journalist with The Kerryman responds to 'Slane Girl' letter

Published 11/09/2013 | 05:36

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Sir, As the journalist referred to in a letter from Ciara McConkey on September 4, in which she took serious exception to my column of the previous week entitled 'Hard to feel sympathy for Slane Girl' - and accused me of fuelling rape culture and being part the reason why rapists are not appropriately punished, I felt utterly compelled to reply.

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While I fully accept that Ms. McConkey may not agree with my views, I will not accept the above remarks.

In her letter she refers to the young girl in question as being a victim of sexual violence and she goes to say that a number of men had sex with her. The pictures to which I was referring to show no evidence of this.

In fact you will see clearly that she is the person photographed (not filmed) performing a sexual act on at least one of these men in full view of spectators.

Ms. McConkey accuses me of having a 'victim-blaming mindset' but I fail to see how a woman who willingly engages in such a lewd act in front of dozens of spectators can be considered a victim.

I am aware that the girl made a complaint to gardaí regarding a separate incident at Slane, but it was stressed that this complaint did not relate to the photographs that were unfortunately published online.

My column referred only to these photographs.

I agree whole-heatedly with Ms. McConkey's statement that sex is a person's 'private business alone'.

That was the exact point I was making. This girl had a responsibility to herself that day, but her actions were far from private.

And for the record, I never have and never will condone any form of sexual abuse or violence against any woman and Ms. McConkey's assumption that I am fuelling rape culture and am somehow responsible for rapists not being punished is not only highly offensive, but way off the mark.

Yours,

Marisa Reidy,

Journalist and columnist with The Kerryman,

9/10 Denny Street, Tralee

Kerryman

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