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Fiona's uncle dies days after his arrest

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 Victim Fiona Doyle. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

Victim Fiona Doyle. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

Victim Fiona Doyle. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

RAPE victim Fiona Doyle's uncle has suddenly died just days after being quizzed by gardai over sexually abusing her.

Fiona (48) claimed Michael Cowap repeatedly raped her over a five year period between the late 1970s and 1980s.

It is understood that Ms Doyle went to gardai to report the abuse after her paedophile father Patrick O'Brien was successfully prosecuted.

It is reported that Mr Cowap was married to Ms Doyle's mum's sister.

Gardai arrested Mr Cowap and were investigating claims that he raped Fiona at his home at weekends, when she was dropped off by her sick father.

Mr Cowap was arrested last week and a file was being prepared for the DPP before he passed away.

Ms Doyle said that after her father was arrested so many people were praising her for having the courage to speak out. But she said that she felt like a "fraud" because she had not come forward about the second case.

"All I ever wanted is for people who hurt me when I was a child to face trial," she said last week.

"I feel very strongly that these people preyed on me when I was defenceless."

O'Brien, of Old Court Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of the rape and indecent assault of his daughter at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road, Dun Laoghaire, from 1973 to 1982. He was sentenced to 12 years last January, with the final nine suspended after he admitted raping his daughter for 10 years.

FLASHBACKS

Now, a year after he was jailed, Ms Doyle has told the Herald: "At first I was elated because I had proved I wasn't a liar, but then I soon realised that despite the fact he was jailed my own life would not change.

"Every time I pass Deansgrange cemetery, or beaches like Brittas, I get flashbacks of the abuse. It never leaves you, there is no closure."

The DPP has appealed what it says is the undue leniency of the sentence handed down to O'Brien.

hnews@herald.ie


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