Man accused of raping daughter 'cannot remember' incident, court hears

The Kerry man accused of raping his daughter more than 20 years ago has denied he cannot recall the alleged incident because he had been drinking at a party that night.

The Kerry man accused of raping his daughter more than 20 years ago has denied he cannot recall the alleged incident because he had been drinking at a party that night.

The man accepted he had a blank memory from drinking a few times in his life, but denied New Year's Night 1988 was such an occasion when prosecution counsel, Ms Aileen Donnelly SC, suggested it was why he could not recall the alleged rape.

He told Ms Donnelly (with Mr Seamus Clarke BL), that it was "a very long time ago", adding: "Sometimes I can't remember what I did a week ago."

The 57-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and two counts of indecently assaulting his then 11-year-old daughter on January 1, 1988.

He said: "There is no possibility in the wide earthly world I could do such a horrible, horrible thing"

The accused told his counsel, Mr Hugh Hartnett SC, that his daughter bought her own mattress when the family moved home because she wanted a bigger bed and that her old mattress was left at the previous house.

He said his daughters chose their own bedrooms in the new house and the complainant's room had no carpet because he and his wife agreed this room would be furnished differently to the others.

The man said in a 2007 garda interview that he had a "bad" relationship with his daughter when he split from her mother but that he did not know why she would not talk to him before the marriage failed.

He told gardaí he was "shocked" at the allegations put to him on September 28, 2007 saying: "I didn't rape (the complainant), I wouldn't do that to anybody and for anybody to do that to a child is despicable."

Garda Siobhan O'Connor told Ms Donnelly that the man claimed he did not "recall the circumstances" when the complainant stopped talking to him.

Gda O'Connor agreed with defence counsel, Mr Hugh Hartnett SC, that the case was "disadvantaged" because of the absence of medical evidence.

The trial has reached closing stages before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of 11 men and one woman.

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