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I WAS disgusted by the Danny Foley case at the Circuit Criminal Court, Tralee. First of all, that 50 people should have been allowed to show such support for this man in front of the victim who was already understandably traumatised by her experience. This kind of parochial intimidation should not be allowed in court.
Secondly, five years is not long enough for someone who has committed a sexual offence and shown no remorse. We are too lenient with sexual offenders in this country, and with such a low conviction rate I am not surprised so few victims come forward.
We need to overhaul the way we deal with cases of sexual violence, much like Britain is doing at the moment.
We also need more female members of the security forces and the judiciary and better support for victims who wish to prosecute. We need to be clear as to how we deal with perpetrators of sexual violence. Let’s be clear that the victim is never at fault in any way and let’s erode the “boys’ club’ culture that sets doubt in victim’s claims and questions them (because alcohol was involved, for example).
I commend this young woman for coming forward and hope her case will shed light on some of the appalling ways in which we deal with victims of sexual violence in this country.
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