Angry scenes force unscheduled break on TV3

KATHY O’Beirne’s story of sexual abuse and rape at home and in a number of religious institutions led to angry scenes on early morning TV yesterday when heated outbursts forced the makers of TV3’s Ireland AM to take an unscheduled break.

The book, which has sold 350,000 copies in Ireland and Europe, details abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her father and Catholic religious orders, including 14 years of forced labour in a Magdalen laundry.

The core facts of the story have been publicly disputed by members of her family.

Yesterday, the early morning programme hosted a panel discussion during which the author, 50, clashed with her sister Mary O’Beirne and other members of the panel.

In the book, O’Beirne claims she was violently beaten and abused by her father, Oliver.

Three of her brothers have already denied this saying their father was a good man.

Don’t Ever Tell, published in 2005, details a savage upbringing in which she was beaten by her father, raped and sexually abused at home and in Catholic-run children’s homes and psychiatric institutions.

On the panel yesterday for the TV discussion was Michael Sheridan author of Kathy’s Story and Hermann Kelly, who has just published the book Kathy’s Real Story and Kathy’s sister, Mary O’Beirne.

Interviewers Mark Cagney and Sinead Desmond were forced to pull the plug when the interview grew very heated and hostile.

When the show took an unscheduled commercial break, the arguments continued off air.

Mary O’Beirne protested that Micheal Sheridan’s own book about her father was “trying to ruin my childhood memories of my father. My father was not a monster Michael Sheridan. I will stand up here and stand up for my father until the very end”.

When Mark Cagney asked Mary O’Beirne if she was denying there was sexual abuse and rape in her family, she replied “my father was not a monster — I deny everything”.

Mary O’Beirne also claimed she had “been getting harassment for the past couple of months from Kathy’s followers”.

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