Monday 24 October 2016

Jailed rapist is driven undercover to funeral home after wife dies

Patrick O'Brien
Patrick O'Brien
A prison van carrying O’Brien leaves Arbour Hill
Fiona Doyle

A man found guilty of raping his daughter for nearly a decade has been let out of prison to view the remains of his late wife.

Patrick O'Brien (79) was sentenced to 12 years in prison with three suspended in 2013 for the systematic rape and sexual abuse of his daughter Fiona Doyle at their home in Dun Laoghaire from 1973 to 1982.

His wife Breda (69) died from cancer on Tuesday in Bray.

She had been questioned by gardai following allegations by Ms Doyle that she had aided and abetted in the abuse.


The Director of Public Prosecutions was due to make a decision in the coming days on whether or not she should face charges.

Just after 1pm a Prison Service van collected O'Brien from Arbour Hill and conveyed him to a funeral home in Bray.

The rapist was protected from view by prison staff and gardai.

The van arrived at Colliers Funeral Home in Bray at 1.30pm and left for the prison at 2.20pm after collecting the convicted paedophile from the property's rear exit.

The last time O'Brien was seen before he was sent to prison in 2013, he was using a walking frame.

The sex abuser was then accompanied to court by his late wife Breda, who stayed by her husband's side throughout.

When asked why so much effort was afforded to keeping O'Brien out of public view, both the gardai and the Irish Prison Service said they do not comment on individual cases.

Under 2007 Prison Rules governing the transport of prisoners to and from jail it states that such measures as are practicable shall be taken to ensure that he or she is not exposed to public view and is protected from insult, curiosity or publicity of any kind.

Victim Ms Doyle said she regrets her mother died without an official decision being reached about whether she would be prosecuted or not.

She said she would still like to know what the DPP's decision would have been and hopes to get some communication in due course.

"I know there are other girls out there. Same story as mine. I want to give others hope as well," she said.

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

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

"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 would die before I get their decision.

"I feel lost. What do I have now? Nothing.


"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.

The case sparked controversy when O'Brien was initially given a 12-year sentence with nine years suspended due to his age and ill-health.

However, this was subsequently appealed by the DPP and the sentence was revised to 12 years with three years suspended.

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