Imagine being a child. Completely without power. Imagine if Daddy, who's meant to love and keep you safe, does unspeakable things to you sexually - things you don't even have a name for. Then imagine how you might look for help. What to do to get it stopped. Who you could tell. This secret is so appalling you can't possibly hide it.
Could you confide in your mother? She's in his power too. An older brother or sister? They don't have autonomy. But there must be someone you can talk to.
What about a teacher? You're frightened you'll be called a liar - you don't expect anyone to listen to you. After all, you can hardly believe this living nightmare yourself. And your father has threatened you with foster care if you say anything. You might never see your family again.
A police officer? You belong to a community which isn't on good terms with the Garda and you've been taught to steer clear of them.
How about a doctor or nurse? You're with your mother when you see them and she doesn't want the family to be shamed.
It dawns on you there is nowhere to turn - there is no help. You must simply endure. And the horror continues.
For 23 years, James O'Reilly (75) raped his sister and seven daughters, one of whom gave birth to a child who was both daughter and granddaughter to him. Court reports tell of the girls being beaten, starved and forced to live in squalor and poverty.
O'Reilly, who moved his daughters around the country, denied the charges but was jailed this week for 20 years.
He raped his sister when she was 13 and turned his attention to his eldest daughter when she was aged between four and six. At first, it was sexual abuse but he escalated to rape when the little girl was eight. She was violated repeatedly, as were her sisters.
These women can hold their heads high. They are survivors. Mr Justice Tony Hunt, who heard the case, paid tribute to their "courage, dignity, remarkable stoicism" and - a real mark of their exceptional qualities - "an occasional flash of good humour". Their love and support for one another as they gathered on the courtroom steps was a joy to witness.
But standing there, they posed a series of haunting questions which cannot be ignored. They boil down to this: were they left to suffer for so long by State agencies because they were Travellers?
An inquiry is needed to supply answers. What contact did these women have, as children, with representatives of the State, from teachers to social services? Did the victims report it? If so, was an attempt at intervention made?
Did any of the State's agents suspect something was wrong - even if none of the children made a complaint? O'Reilly was able to engage in child abuse for a prolonged period - how was it allowed to continue for so many years? What can we learn from this case and how can supports be improved?
There is much we don't know but we do know this. Racism towards Travellers contributed to the problems experienced by these women in grappling with an appalling ordeal.
If you belong to a community on the margins, you do not turn to the mainstream for help because you don't expect it will be given. If you belong to a group viewed with suspicion by broader society - all of you tarnished when one does anything wrong - you do not ask outsiders to lend a hand.
Your instinct is to protect your excluded community, even when the terror and pain you are experiencing originates from there.
These eight outstanding women have told how difficult it was for them to reveal their suffering. It is natural to want to protect your family's reputation. Going public is hard for all victims - but particularly so when speaking out might be regarded as an act of disloyalty towards both family and community. They had not just the fear of stigmatisation to overcome, but the risk of being ostracised by their own community.
This case, however, is about more than child abuse, nauseating though it is - it's about how Travellers are treated in Irish society.
"We recognise racism outside Ireland but we're in denial about the racism here toward Travellers," National Women's Council of Ireland director Orla O'Connor told the Irish Independent.
"Violence and racism are at the core of this and any new government must have policies to deal with both."
She noted that it wasn't some historic case - the rapes only ended in 2000. What happened cannot be relegated conveniently to the past.
Silence about child abuse, looking away and a reluctance to act have been the norm until relatively recently in Irish life. Child abuse is no more or less prevalent among Travellers than the broader society, but Travellers who are abused face higher hurdles which prevent them from coming forward.
We need to ask ourselves how people in the Traveller community can be supported. Traveller women face discrimination anyway as women, and doubly so as Traveller women. They are more vulnerable because they face social exclusion, and there is a greater likelihood they will experience poverty.
They need more State help, not less - but they and their children face obstacles to accessing these life-changing supports. Discrimination, even just the fear of it, prevents Traveller women from seeking protection from State services.
Some of the more successful initiatives are based within the Traveller community, such as primary healthcare projects. These are particularly important because Travellers are liable to experience health problems and die earlier, compared with their fellow citizens. Infant mortality rates are higher. In the labour market, Travellers are more likely to be unemployed and on low incomes.
In education, there are lower levels of literacy, although improvements have been made in recent times. ESRI research shows just 8pc of Travellers aged 25 to 34 reached Leaving Certificate level, compared with 86pc in the wider community.
The one-size-fits-all model of service provision for the entire Irish population doesn't work for Travellers. Services need to be culturally sensitive if they are to be effective. One solution is dedicated protection strategies aimed at Traveller women and children, in addition to dedicated supports for the Traveller population.
There are some 30,000 Travellers in the State, who were recognised formally as a minority ethnic group in 2017. They speak Cant, their own language, and have their own traditions. Nomadism was an integral element of their culture but most now remain in one place - around three-quarters live in a house.
Sometimes in Irish life there is a view that Travellers are people to tolerate rather than celebrate. Anyone of that persuasion needs to take a closer look at the eight O'Reilly women. These extraordinary individuals are role models - not just for the Traveller community but broader society.