Sunday 22 September 2019

Family stands by abuser as jury awards €150,000 damages

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Stock picture

Tim Healy

A woman who sued, alleging that she was raped and sexually abused by one of her brothers over years in their family home when she was a child, has been awarded €150,000 damages by a High Court jury.

Antoinette McLoughlin (46), of Lusk, Co Dublin, sued her brother, Patrick Garvey (52), of Silverglen, Gormanstown Road, Stamullen, Co Meath, over the assaults on her on dates from 1976 to 1980.

He denied the claims.

The civil action was at hearing for some eight days and the jury of five men and seven women returned with their verdict after over three hours of deliberation on Thursday and Friday.

In reply to a question as to whether Mr Garvey carried out assault and battery on his sister on any of the occasions alleged by her, the jury replied: "Yes". It also replied "Yes" to the question did he falsely imprison her on any of the occasions alleged.

The jury assessed general damages to date and into the future at €125,000 and aggravated damages at €25,000. It did not award exemplary damages.


In her action, Ms McLoughlin claimed that the abuse began when she was aged eight, and her brother was aged about 12 or 13, and that it continued for about four years.

She told her father, Peter Garvey, about the abuse at the time that it was happening but he did not believe her and slapped her across the face, she told the jury.

Mr Garvey denied all the claims and was supported throughout the eight-day case by his wife, four sisters and his brother. His sisters, Mary, Assumpta, Linda and Margaret, all gave evidence for him.

Another sister, Susan, who died in 2007, had accompanied Antoinette to a garda station when she made a formal complaint of abuse against her brother in March 2006, the jury heard.

The jury was told that Ms McLoughlin had had a "hard life" to date, suffering psychiatric difficulties, including taking an overdose on one occasion.

Her life had improved in recent years and she had retrained and returned to work, the court also heard.

Counsel for the defendant asked for the matter to be put into next Monday to allow him address Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh on his order awarding costs to Ms McLoughlin.

Irish Independent

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