Fiona Doyle makes sentencing plea in meeting with Taoiseach, after 10 years of rape by father31/01/2013 - 19:35:58
Rape victim Fiona Doyle has personally asked the Taoiseach to introduce minimum prison sentences for sex offenders.
She also told Enda Kenny in a one-on-one meeting that judges should be “sensitised” to cases like her own to ensure no one is let down by the justice system.
“I asked for minimum sentencing, especially for rape and assault,” Ms Doyle said. “I asked for younger judges and for judges to be sensitised and trained in handling cases like my own. There were a good few notes being taken. I’m hoping something will be done.”
Ms Doyle, from Bray, Co Wicklow, was raped by her father Patrick O’Brien once a week for a decade from the age of eight.
There was public outcry when the 72-year-old rapist walked free earlier this month. He had been handed a 12-year sentence with nine suspended, but was released on bail to await an appeal on the jail term.
But Mr Justice Paul Carney later reversed O’Brien’s bail and apologised to Ms Doyle.
He said it had been insensitive and inappropriate to release O’Brien, also from Bray, Co Wicklow. He is now serving three years behind bars.
Ms Doyle met Mr Kenny in Government Buildings where they talked for over an hour.
The mother-of-three said the Taoiseach promised to take all her requests on board.
“He actually wanted to know my story and some of the details and some of the court case,” she added. “It was a bit emotional. I had to stop a few times.”
Ms Doyle said she appreciated that Mr Kenny had taken the time to talk to her and said the meeting was like an informal chat.
The Taoiseach was one of the first politicians to voice his anger following O’Brien’s original release.
He said the case, which had filled the nation full of “revulsion”, highlighted inadequacies within the court system.
He praised Ms Doyle, who waived her right to anonymity, saying she had shown great courage throughout the case.
Mr Kenny also pledged to arrange an Oireachtas debate on potential reforms to the court system, which were first proposed by Justice Minister Alan Shatter last September.
He set up a working group which is considering penal reforms, which would include possible changes to sentencing.
Ms Doyle’s brutal ordeal began on the night before her First Holy Communion in 1973 and continued to 1982.
O’Brien pleaded guilty to 16 charges of the rape and indecent assault of his daughter.
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