Nora Wall speaks publicly about rape trial ordeal
NORA Wall, the former nun who was wrongly convicted of rape, has said that she bears no ill-will against the young woman who brought the case against her.
Ms Wall, in an interview for RTE's Would You Believe to be broadcast next week, describes her confusion when the allegations were initially put to her, and the slow, tortuous journey from suspicion to conviction to freedom.
Nora Wall received a life sentence last June when she was found guilty of the rape of a 10-year-old girl in 1987-88. The rape was alleged to have happened while Ms Wall was in charge of the Coisceim Mercy nursing home in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford. The conviction was quashed in July following a number of errors in the trial.
Talking to Mary Wilson, RTE legal affairs correspondent, she says she always felt ``it would come right in the end'', and that her first thoughts on receiving the guilty verdict were for her family.
Ms Wall says she doesn't feel bitter, and hopes that something has been learned from her experience.
She thanks the governor and staff of Mountjoy who were ``extremely helpful and protective'' of her.
The programme includes footage from the trial and interviews with Jim Wall (Nora's brother) and former residents of the children's homes where Ms Wall worked.
She remembers that she was sewing a button on a shirt for an old man when a female garda knocked on her door. It was the bank holiday weekend of October 1996. The garda asked Ms Wall to accompany her outside. It took Ms Wall some time to understand why she was being arrested. When she heard ``what was supposed to have happened'', she said that she could ``never think like that, never mind do something like that''. ``I was confused. My hands were numb and my feet were cold. I didn't know what to think.''
Nora Wall says she won't ever work again. ``What employer wants a person who, over the past three years, has signed on twice a day in the garda station, had 32 court appearances, a six-day trial in the Criminal Court and four days of a life sentence in the Joy?'' she asks.
* Would You Believe, Tuesday 9.30pm, RTE1