herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Fiona feels cheated that 'monster' mum died before charges

Crime

Bridget and Patrick O'Brien
Bridget and Patrick O'Brien

Rape and sexual-abuse victim Fiona Doyle has said she regrets her mother has died without an official decision being reached about whether she would be prosecuted.

Breda O'Brien (69) died of cancer in the early hours of yesterday in Bray, Co Wicklow, said her daughter Fiona.

It is believed Mrs O'Brien's husband Patrick O'Brien (75) will be released temporarily from prison following the death.

He was found guilty of systematically raping his daughter Fiona for nearly a decade at their home in Dun Laoghaire from 1973 to 1982.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. In January last year, the Court of Appeal said that only three years of his sentence be suspended rather than an initial court decision suspending nine years.

During the trial, Mrs Doyle told the court she believed that her mother knew that her father was sexually abusing her.

After the court decision, Mrs Doyle told a press conference she had written to the Garda Commissioner asking that her mother be investigated.

Last night, Mrs Doyle told the Herald she felt sad at her mother's death and also she felt cheated that she died before a decision was made on whether the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was going to bring charges against her.

"I'm just disappointed that I was to get the decision this week from the DPP. I heard last week that she was sick and that she had got lung cancer and was at home with only days left," she said.

"I had wrote to the DPP in January and I expressed my concern that the file had gone to them in October...

"So when I wrote in January, I said that I was concerned at the length of time they were taking to make the decision, and my biggest fear is that she dies before I get their decision.

"I feel lost. What do I have now? Nothing. And cheated that it could have been done," she said.

"In my eyes, she (my mother) obviously did not feel that she needed to make peace with me, because I don't think she felt she did anything wrong."

She said she was surprised last July when she became aware of a document in which a doctor had stated that Fiona's mother said her husband Patrick was sexually interfering with Fiona.

Mrs Doyle had described her father as "a monster" who had degraded her and ignored her pain and tears.

She did not object to her father being released at this time of bereavement.

"I know my father is going to be let out to see her.

"I don't really have any feelings on him being let out," Fiona said.

She said she would still like to know "what the DPP's decision would have been. That I haven't put myself and my family through all this for nothing."

She said she hoped to get some communication from the DPP in due course.

"I know there are other girls out there. Same story as mine.

"And I want to give others hope as well."

She told a press conference last year that there were proposals that a film be made of her story.

Solace

She said then that she hoped the film, So Many Tears, would help realise her hope of starting a charity called the Fiona Doyle Foundation.

"It's an idea that has been in my mind the last couple of years," she said then.

"I hope some of the profits made from the film can be used to open a house where victims can come to seek solace, to take time out, to sit and talk.

"I had an idea that a house might be bought and be managed by a management team that hopefully the Rape Crisis Centre can be involved in it.

"I hope we can offer support, counselling, legal advice."

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