A WOMAN who was raped as a child by her father for 10 years told gardai that the abuse became as frequent as having dinner, a court has heard.
Fiona Doyle (nee O'Brien) said her father Patrick O'Brien, now aged 72, raped her every night when her mother went out to play bingo.
Waiving her right to anonymity, she told the Central Criminal Court that no sentence imposed on O'Brien could 'undo the enormous damage that my father has done to me.'
'It is something I have lived with since I was a young child and it's something I will have to live with until the day I die.'
As a result of the abuse she said her first marriage failed and she made two serious suicide attempts.
She said she attempted to change her own appearance through plastic surgery, saying: ' I had many operations which I see now was a form of self mutilation. I have the many scars to prove it.'
Patrick O'Brien, of Old Court Avenue, Bray pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 charges of the rape and indecent assault of Fiona Doyle at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road, Dun Laoghaire from 1973 to 1982.
He was remanded on continuing bail to appear before Mr. Justice Paul Carney for sentencing next Monday.
The abuse began when O'Brien raped the victim on the night before she was to make her First Holy Communion when she was about seven years old.
Ms. Doyle told the court, ' There was none of the usual excitement you'd expect in a family home where such a big occasion was to happen the next day.
'My mother went off to bingo, leaving me at the mercy of my father. Almost certainly knowing what he would do to me. My father raped me that night. I remember lying in bed that night but being unable to sleep because of the pain.'
Detective Garda Darragh Phelan told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that Ms Doyle described the abuse as taking place every evening and being 'as frequent as having dinner.'
Detective Phelan said there was a culture of fear and violence in the home and that Ms Doyle's mother would call her a whore while beating her. Ms Doyle said she believes her mother knew about the abuse and that she was cast as ' the other woman' in an 'evil marriage'.
Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, said that her client is an elderly man in 'extremely poor health' who has taken full responsibility for these grave offences.
Mr. Justice Carney initially remanded O'Brien in custody for sentencing next Monday.