Wednesday 24 January 2018

Praise and admiration pouring in for brave Niamh Ni Dhomhnail - who criticised ex partner's suspended sentence for raping her while she slept - after Ray D'Arcy interview

Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill on the Ray D'Arcy programme on RTE One tonight
Pic: RTE
Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill on the Ray D'Arcy programme on RTE One tonight Pic: RTE
Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill on the Ray D'Arcy programme on RTE One tonight Pic: RTE
Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill on the Ray D'Arcy programme on RTE One tonight Pic: RTE
Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill on the Ray D'Arcy programme on RTE One tonight Pic: RTE
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Praise and admiration have been pouring in for a woman who spoke out after her former partner received a suspended sentence for raping her while she slept.

Last night, Niamh Ni Dhomhnail made her first public appearance on RTE One's Ray D'Arcy Show last night to bravely speaking out against the suspended sentence imposed on her former boyfriend, Norwegian national Meyer Hustveit, in July.

Last night, provisional IRA sex abuse victim Mairia Cahill said she was proud to call Ms Ni Dhomhnaill her friend.

"Delighted Niamh did this and proud to call her a friend. It will help others. Well done," Ms Cahill wrote on Twitter.

While others on Twitter also had an equal amount of praise.

In the pre-recorded interview, Ms Ni Dhomhnaill told D'Arcy that she is a changed person since the attacks.

She said prior to the incidents, she was a "relatively outgoing" young woman.

"I suppose I would have been first on the dance floor quite a bit and just enjoyed being silly really with my friends. I enjoyed going for walks with my mom, with my dog....I enjoyed teaching a lot and I enjoyed working with young people.

"I had a lot of ambitions and always had a lot of drive and realistically I don’t think that those things have changed a whole lot. I think that they’ve been altered.

"I think that the focus of a lot of things has been changed but I don’t see that necessarily as a negative," she said.

She told Ray she was striving to find a way in getting something positive from the experience.

"I think that it’s obviously changed a lot of things but you make a decision on how it changes you and how it defines you and for me I can’t be who I was before that but I nearly don’t want to be now.

"And I’d like to find that I’ll have focus and that some of that focus will come from the experiences that I’ve had. My hope for the future would be that it helps, that I find a way to make this positive, to make constructive change."

Ray asked her if she hoped her appearance on television would help others.

“I hope so. I hope that it helps anyone who feels in any way that it resonates for them.

"I suppose there’s the hope that you don’t always preach to the converted. You want to hopefully reach people who are cynical about these things or who don’t know what to think about it so I suppose if I had one hope it would certainly be that.”

Ms Ni Dhomhnaill has joined the Ask Consent campaign, along with Tom Meagher, the husband of the late Jill Meagher who was raped and murdered by Adrian Bayley as she walked home in Melbourne in 2013.

Talking about the Ask Consent campaign, Niamh said it was aimed at men and women.

“I do think that sometimes [with] a lot of the rhetoric around this, I think men tend to feel a bit demonised. I think it’s an important addition in this campaign that there is the addition of ‘Did you ask him?’

"And again I think that it is an issue within domestic violence, domestic abuse, sexual violence, that it’s far too often regarded as a male on female action, which it’s absolutely not...The majority are but that doesn’t negate that there are male victims.”

Níamh Ní Dhomhnaill : He controlled me, mocked me and abused me in the place we... regarded as a home Former teacher raped by her boyfriend as she slept to seek appeal against seven year suspended sentence

Meyer Hustveit walked free from the Central Criminal Court in July after receiving a seven-year suspended sentence.

The Norwegian man, previously of Leo Street, North Circular Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to one count of rape, and one count of sexual assault, between 2011 and 2012.

Last night,


Ms Ni Dhomhnail spoke out after the sentence.

She told Newstalk's Chris Donoghue that the sentence sent out "the wrong message" to victims of rape and sexual violence.

“I think it sends such a clear message to Irish society that rape and sexual violence is not being taken seriously enough,” she told Newstalk Breakfast’s Chris Donoghue today.

“I’m still very shocked at the ruling. It’s a lot to take in... the judge took his time in making the ruling. He seemed to be cognisant of the fact that what he did was quite serious.

“He acknowledged in principle the severity of Magnus’s actions, but in reality that acknowledgement seemed to mean nothing with a fully suspended sentence.”

“I’m left reeling, and my parents are too, and all my friends who were there to support me.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have since told Ms Ni Dhomhnaill of their intention to appeal the sentence.

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