Monday 19 March 2018

Donal Lynch: No longer a queue to shake attacker's hand

In the valley of squinting windows, opinions on the Foley case have subtly shifted

Right, Foley leaves the Midlands Prison with his belongings.
Right, Foley leaves the Midlands Prison with his belongings.
Danny Foley with fiancee Michelle O'Sullivan.
Controversial priest Fr Sean Sheehy, who has since stepped down from his ministry.
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

It could be a scene from one of John B Keane's plays but instead it's a real-life drama that will continue to play out in the coming months in streets around the legendary playwright's pub.

On Monday, September 2, just after 7am, Danny Foley, who comes from a small townland a few miles from Listowel, Co Kerry, was released from the Midlands prison in Portlaoise after serving three years and eight months for sexual assault on a young woman.

Foley, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, carried his belongings in two plastic bags slung over his shoulder. He cut a lonely figure. At the gates of the prison the crowds that controversially came out to support him during the dramatic sentencing scenes – including a local priest who queued up to shake his hand – were nowhere to be seen.

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