AN elderly father who inflicted a "campaign of rape" on two of his daughters and sexually abused his son has been jailed for life.
he man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, received the rarely deployed maximum penalty for rape following a harrowing seven-week trial at the Central Criminal Court.
The 73-year-old was convicted in August of 87 counts of sexually assaulting, raping and orally raping two daughters between the ages of five and 11 and sexually assaulting his son from the age of three to six at various locations from 1997 to 2002.
Yesterday, at his sentence hearing, one of his daughters revealed how she had habitually self-harmed and had attempted suicide on six occasions because of the mental anguish caused by her father's abuse.
The other daughter hit out at her mother and the HSE for failing to protect her from her father, who continued to abuse her after she had been placed into care.
Mr Justice George Birmingham imposed life sentences for the "campaign of rape" the convicted sex offender inflicted on two of his daughters and gave the man, who has no evidence of personality or psychological disorder, further sentences for sexually assaulting his son as a young boy.
The judge said evidence in the trial had been "truly shocking" and that references to the man being a "monster" in a "home from hell" contained no exaggeration.
"The depths of (the man's) depravity were matched only by his deviousness and cunning," he said.
The judge said the HSE had identified that the children were at risk and put them in care, but their father undertook a "campaign" to frustrate its efforts and continue his abuse.
The 19-year-old eldest victim said she lived in fear of the day her father would "come back" and pleaded with the judge to jail him for "a very a long time".
"Dear dad, I loved you and trusted you and I thought you loved me the most," she read from her victim impact statement. "It was all lies, if you loved me, you wouldn't have abused me or sent me away."
Her 18-year-old sister said in her victim impact statement: "Since the age of four, I was betrayed in the worst possible way. He stole my whole childhood. I would have been better off if he had killed me."
The now 17-year-old male victim declined to give evidence or submit a victim impact report.
Gda Deirdre Walsh told the court that the sexual abuse of the three children began in the family home prior to the children being taken into care in February 2000.
The girls were returned home later that year but the father continued to live with the family. The girls were again taken back into care in 2001 but ran away on many occasions.
During the time the eldest girl was in care, she escaped repeatedly and was sexually abused by her father. He gave her a mobile phone to make contact with him and also gave her money so she could get away.
She was sexually abused and raped in various locations such as a burger chain's toilet, on the DART and in hotels.
She said her father told her: "This is what daddies do."
Her younger sister was also abused on occasions when she ran away from the care home.