Former Northern Ireland human rights campaigner Vincent McKenna who was jailed for sexually abusing his daughter failed today in a bid to appeal the severity of his sentence.
McKenna, 38, was told by Mr Justice Geoghegan at Dublin’s Appeal Court that his grounds for appeal against the six year sentence did not contain a ‘‘point of law of exceptional public importance’’.
McKenna, who worked with punishment attack victims with the group Families Against Intimidation and Terror (FAIT), was imprisoned in 2000 at Monaghan Circuit Court for abusing his daughter Sorcha over a nine-year period.
In May this year the Appeal Court doubled the length of his sentence to six years after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed the original three years as ‘‘unduly lenient’’.
McKenna, from Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, with an address at Haypark Avenue, Ormeau Road, Belfast, was jailed for 31 counts of abuse against Sorcha, 20.
Student Sorcha has waived her legal right to anonymity.
Mr Justice Geoghegan added that the DPP’s application, made in December 2001, to appeal the three-year sentence imposed on McKenna, was made in good time, contrary to the argument of Senior Counsel Michael O’Higgins, for McKenna.