herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

'My rapist father has never had it so good'

Patrick O’Brien
Patrick O’Brien

The daughter - and victim - of rapist Patrick O'Brien has hit out after it emerged that he is receiving taxpayer-funded hospital treatment while she must foot the bill for her counselling.

O'Brien was sentenced in 2015 to 12 years in prison with three suspended for raping his daughter, Fiona Doyle.

It followed a finding by the Court of Appeal that the original sentence, handed down to him in 2013, was too lenient.

At the time, he was given 12 years with nine of them suspended.

Over the weekend, it emerged that O'Brien (79) was being treated in the Mater Hospital for symptoms associated with heart disease and emphysema.

He was photographed smoking a cigarette outside the hospital, which he was attending during a rare outing from Arbour Hill Prison.

He appeared fitter and stronger than ever despite claiming before the Court of Appeal that imprisonment would prove too much of a hardship for him.

Damage

"The fact that the taxpayer foots the bill for top-end medical treatment for him is a massive issue for me," Ms Doyle said.

"The reality is I'm the one who has had to foot the bill for seven years of counselling I received to get me through the damage he did to me.

"That's the case with dozens of victims I've met who haven't been in the position to use the Rape Crisis Centre counsellors.

"The treatment received by perpetrators is on an- other level to that afforded to the victims."

Ms Doyle said her father "never had it so good" since he went to prison.

"The best of food, exercise and medical treatment because he is in the custody of the State. I, on the other hand, am told to look after myself," she said.

Ms Doyle said she was looking forward to the day her father dies, even though it was hard for her to say.

"I will get closure then," she said.

O'Brien pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 sample counts of rape and indecent assault of Ms Doyle at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road, Dun Laoghaire, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ms Doyle suffered years of torture at the hands of her father that began on the night before her First Holy Communion in 1973.

During the campaign of horrific abuse O'Brien waged against his daughter, he would regularly take her to Deansgrange, where he would clean his parents' grave before taking her up to a tree near the plot and raping her.

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