A DONEGAL father who sexually abused his daughter has thanked her for being brave enough to come forward and to name him.
The man admitted to abusing his daughter on a number of occasions after getting drunk in 2006 and 2007.
On one occasion, he gave his wife money so she could go out with her friends, and then proceeded to abuse the girl.
The man, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, claimed his family had a very open view of sex and revealed they watched pornography together in the family home.
Letterkenny Circuit Court heard the abuse only came to light when the girl broke her curfew and failed to return home from a friend’s house.
When her mother got angry with her, she broke down and revealed the abuse.
The woman confronted her husband, who admitted he had “tried it on” with their daughter.
The couple have since separated and the man is living in Sligo where he has attended 90 therapy sessions with the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
He said he still cannot explain why he did such awful things to his daughter.
“I would like to thank [his daughter] for having the strength to contact the gardaí,” he said. “I can never fix the damage I have done to her.”
In a statement, the girl said that she suffers from panic attacks, that she has to take sleeping pills and that she is being treated for depression.
She added that she never wants to see her father again.
The court heard explicit details of the abuse carried out by the father.
Judge John O’Hagan said he had heard many cases of sexual abuse, but the fact that this was a father and daughter made it very disturbing.
“The affects are forever,” the judge said. “Isn’t it awful that a daughter never wants to see a father again? The sense of breach of trust is just awful to contemplate.”
He sentenced the man to five years in prison and ordered him to be placed on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
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