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.
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.
Journalist and columnist with The Kerryman,
9/10 Denny Street, Tralee