'How did that extent of abuse go on for so long?': Calls for investigation into family sexual abuse case

'How did that extent of abuse go on for so long?': Calls for investigation into family sexual abuse case
Daughters of convicted rapist James O Reilly (75) pictured outside the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) on Parkgate Street in Dublin following the sentence hearing of their father - who was jailed for 20 years for the repeated rape and sexual abuse of his younger sister and his seven(7) daughters over a 23-year period from 1977 to 2000. Picture: Collins Courts.

There are calls for an independent investigation to be launched following the conviction of man for the rape of his seven daughters and sister.

The Tipperary Rural Traveller Project says the State failed the women.

75-year-old James O'Reilly of Ballynonty, Thurles, Co Tipperary was yesterday jailed for 20 years for the repeated rape and sexual abuse of his seven daughters and his younger sister.

The victims were also regularly beaten and starved.

After the sentencing hearing, the victims spoke outside court and asked why the statutory authorities did not intervene sooner and were they not protected because they were members of the travelling community.

Speaking about the case, Cliona Sadlier from the Rape Crisis Network said: "Was there racism involved and structural racism involved in this persisting? And if there wasn't, what went wrong anyway? "

Jack Griffin of the Tipperay Rural Travellers Project says they support the victims call for an independent investigation

He said: "The question is, how did that extent of abuse go on for so long without being addressed or an intervention?

"The family were in contact with the school, with medical professionals, with social care workers."

In a joint statement the women said they are revealed justice has been done, and that the crimes committed against them as children are no longer hidden or denied by anybody.

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