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Monday 17 December 2018

Author finally agrees to sell home of her 'abuser'

Kathy O'Beirne, whose allegations of sexual abuse against her late father in her autobiography,
'Kathy's Story', upset her siblings, with writer Michael Sheridan outside the HIgh Court
Kathy O'Beirne, whose allegations of sexual abuse against her late father in her autobiography, 'Kathy's Story', upset her siblings, with writer Michael Sheridan outside the HIgh Court

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

Controversial author Kathy O'Beirne has lost the right to remain in her parents' home for life.

The "mis lit" sensation, who has sold over 400,000 copies of her autobiography, 'Kathy's Story', yesterday reached a settlement with her siblings who have castigated her claims that their late father Oliver subjected them to a life of cruelty and violence.

The settlement was reached following a marathon day of negotiations between the two sides.

And the Irish Independent has learned that the modest €350,000 Clondalkin home owned by the late Oliver O'Beirne is to be sold and the proceedings divided equally among all his nine children.

Yesterday both sides claimed victory following the five-year legal battle.

Kathy O'Beirne claimed she had been "vindicated" by the offer, which she insists was made by her siblings.

Offer

"My family have made me an offer I can't refuse," said O'Beirne, who is writing a sequel to 'Kathy's Story' entitled 'The Aftermath'.

"I have a business in Kusadasi, I've two girls to look after, I've an apartment in Dublin, so I'm quite happy with the offer I got."

But the debut author's family claimed that it was their father's wishes had been fulfilled as a result of the deal.

"We are happy that the matter has now been concluded and we all hope to get on with our lives," said Margaret Payne, O'Beirne's sister.

The High Court settlement brings to a close a "sad and complicated" chapter in the family row that engulfed the O'Beirne family following the publication of 'Kathy's Story' in 2005.

In her book, Kathy O'Beirne detailed horrific physical and mental abuse suffered at the hands of her late father.

But the claims were strenuously denied by her brothers and sisters.

In legal proceedings, Eamonn O'Beirne and Margaret Payne, brother and sister of Kathy O'Beirne -- and the executors of their dead father's will -- claimed that he always intended that his family home would be sold after his death and divided equally between all of his nine children.

They began legal proceedings five years ago after Kathy refused to agree to the sale of the house.

Promise

Catherine [Kathy] O'Beirne, who claimed that she had been sexually abused by her father, and in the Magdalene laundries, counter claimed that her father had promised she could stay in the home for life.

In his will, Mr O'Beirne left the house to his wife Ann for her life and thereafter to all of his nine children in equal shares. The other members of the family said they were not aware of any such promise by their father to Catherine.

In March 2006, Dublin Circuit Court noted that Ms O'Beirne appeared to have had a troublesome and difficult childhood and had spent some of her years in institutional care.

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