Horrific tales of domestic violence being told across the country

Sometimes you have to write it down in a type of list format to make the point, even to yourself. 

Horrific tales of domestic violence being told across the country

You do it to cement the fact you neither imagined nor exaggerated it, or just simply to quantify it in a particular timeframe.

You’ve been busy looking the other way with the loud din of an election campaign going on, but there is a horror and relentlessness to it that means the starker details remain stuck somewhere in your brain.

So you go back and dig out those stories that were often far down the news agenda, while the “real” world was getting about its business.

It was over less than a two-week period. There is a theme. It becomes evident pretty quickly.

So here goes.

At the beginning of last week, it was the report of Atilia Kerekes, aged 44, of Sundrive Rd, Crumlin, Dublin, who walked free from court after receiving a suspended two-year sentence after pleading guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm.

His wife had obtained a protection order against her husband in the weeks leading up to the assault.

The court had heard that, on the day of the incident, Kerekes offered to pay her for sex and was upset when she declined.

He then grabbed her from behind in the garden, pulled her into the house, and dragged her upstairs.

Kerekes then took off her clothes and got on top of her, leaving her struggling to breathe. He stopped when he realised how scared she was and apologised to her.

He was apparently jealous of his wife’s new relationship.

For her part, the woman suffered depression and cried every day for months after the attack. Kerekes was said to be remorseful and wanted to apologise.

Judge Patricia Ryan, who presided over the case, said this incident took place shortly after a marriage break-up and “feelings were running high”.

Two days later, we read about the man who had attempted to murder his four children in the family home in summer 2016.

He received a 12-year sentence, with the final four years suspended on a number of conditions.

Mr Justice Michael White said he had regard to the victim impact statement read by the children’s mother in a sentence hearing.

She would never forget receiving a “horrible voicemail” from her eldest child screaming, and a Snapchat message of one of her other children on the bed.

“I knew in my gut something crazy had happened,” she said.

Then last Sunday brought news of a 32-year-old mother of two Amanda Carroll, discovered dead at her home in Cabra in Dublin. Her two boys are aged four and 16.

Also that day we heard of the alleged rape of a 75-year-old woman in a Clare carpark. A man in his 40s was questioned by gardaí.

Sources said the man invited the woman into his car under false pretences outside Ennis library on a Thursday morning.

It is understood that he drove to the nearby Ennis Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre, where the alleged assault took place.

On Monday, it was news of the 18-year-old Spanish student who was raped repeatedly over a 21-hour period in a tent in a remote location in Dublin city.

Described as naive and shy, the woman had come to Ireland to improve her English and was staying with a host family in Dublin.

Eoin Berkley, aged 25, of Hampton Wood Way, Finglas, admitted three counts of raping the woman in July 2017 and will be sentenced next week.

Kathleen Chada(L), mother of Eoghan and Ruairi Chada who were murdered by her husband Sanjeev Chada speaking at the Safe World Summit opening ceremony at Mansion House. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
Kathleen Chada(L), mother of Eoghan and Ruairi Chada who were murdered by her husband Sanjeev Chada speaking at the Safe World Summit opening ceremony at Mansion House. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

On Tuesday, we read of British brothers Luke and Ryan Hart. Speaking at the Safe World Summit, organised in Dublin by Safe Ireland, they told of how their father, Lance Hart, shot and killed his wife Claire and 19-year-old daughter Charlotte in 2016.

People need to be braver about confronting domestic abuse when they see it, the brothers said at the event, which deals with domestic and gender violence.

Also addressing that conference was Kathleen Chada, whose sons Eoghan, 10, and Ruairí, 5, were

killed by their father, Sanjeev Chada, in Mayo in 2013.

On Wednesday, the newspapers carried reports of how Amanda Carroll’s partner had been remanded after being charged with murder.

In some newspapers, that court report was carried alongside a further court item on how a date has been set for the trial of two teenage boys accused of murdering Kildare schoolgirl Anastasia Kriegel.

Ana’s body was found last May at a disused farmhouse in Lucan, Co Dublin, three days after she was reported missing.

The 14-year-old boys, who cannot be named because they are minors, will face trial in April next year.

Elsewhere were the reports of Christina Cahill, aged 27, who was charged with the murder of her fiancé, David Walsh, 29, at their home in Sydney, Australia.

A court was told by lawyers that Cahill, originally from Wexford, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when the crime occurred in February last year.

The murder trial was due to begin this week but Cahill pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted by the prosecution.

The court was told she had suffered from PTSD as a result of Mr Walsh’s conduct towards her.

The court heard he was degrading and violent towards Cahill. She is to be sentenced next month

The deceased, originally from Enniscorthy, was facing a number of charges in Ireland but had moved to Australia.

These included an assault of his ex-partner in 2012, assaulting three gardaí at Enniscorthy Garda Station that year, and three other assault charges.

Last, but by no means least, were the details of a case carried in yesterday’s newspapers.

When news of it first broke on Wednesday the details were so horrendous there was advice to turn down the radio dial if you were of a “sensitive nature”.

It concerned Limerick woman Simone Lee, 39, who was attacked in 2016 by her former boyfriend Colin Ryan, aged 30.

She suffered a brain injury, broken bones, burns to her face, neck, trunk, and eyelids, and was stabbed in the back.

She lost some of her hair in the attack and now wears a wig. So bad were the injuries that gardaí initially believed she had been subject to an acid attack.

She was put in an induced medical coma for three weeks and had to learn to walk again because of her injuries.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said gardaí walked into “a bloodbath” when they arrived at her flat. Ryan was given a seven-and-half-year jail term at Limerick Circuit Court for the attack.

He initially denied his involvement, but later pleaded guilty to intentionally and recklessly causing serious harm to her.

It was accepted both Ryan and Ms Lee appeared to be in a volatile relationship, fuelled by each other’s drug and alcohol addictions.

A defence submission which made reference to “provocation” got this response from Judge Ryan:

No human — let alone a defenceless woman — should be subjected to such a vicious and savage and cowardly attack as was meted out to the victim.

So there you have it. A small country. Less than two weeks of coverage involving all this horror.

There is still an element of commonplace about these particular crimes, as if they form a horrible but unavoidable part of life.

How wrong that attitude is; as this awful summary shows, it allows an extraordinary amount of suffering in its wake.

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