A 75-year-old Kerry man has been jailed for 10 years for the rape of his sister-in-law in the early 1970s.
Jimmy Flannery, of Baile Na Buaile, Dingle, began molesting the child from the age of 11. The abuse escalated later to rape.
Flannery raped the child in a car parked near the Conor Pass in Dingle and in his bedroom at Ballydavid on the Dingle peninsula.
Flannery had denied 10 counts of indecent assault of Mary Courtney at locations in Dingle on dates between April 1969 and April 1974.
He also pleaded not guilty to three counts of raping the woman on occasions between January 1971 and April 1975.
He was convicted of all charges by a jury after a five-day trial at the Central Criminal Court last month.
Bernard Condon, prosecuting, informed the court that the woman wished to waive her right to anonymity.
He said this was not a matter for the DPP or the court, and that he was informing the court as “a matter of courtesy”.
In her victim impact report, the woman said it was difficult to describe the “depth of destruction and chaos” caused by the abuse and rape. She said that she experienced feelings of “helplessness, disgust, and shame”, and often felt angry and depressed when recalling the abuse.
She suffered from bulimia, “drank, and did drugs”, and continued to suffer nightmares, flashbacks, and distress.
Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan noted that as Flannery did not accept the verdict of the jury, there was no remorse being expressed on his part.
She said the rape offences merited a 13-year sentence. After taking into consideration mitigating factors of the man’s age and his absence of other convictions at the time of this offending, she imposed a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
In a statement given to the media outside of court after the sentencing yesterday, the woman and her family said they were grateful that “the truth has been heard”.
“There is finally some justice. It does not undo the damage done but it will hopefully help us move forward with our lives,” said a family representative.
“We hope it helps other survivors of child sex abuse and rape to come forward and that it may prevent there being future victims.”
He said the family did not wish to make any other statement at this time.