Europe

Enda Kenny 'hopes rape victims not discouraged' by sentence

Enda Kenny
Image caption Enda Kenny told the Dail he hoped rape victims would not be put off coming forward after the controversial outcome of a trial.

The prime minister of the Irish Republic has said he hopes other rape victims will not be discouraged from coming forward in the wake of the controversial outcome of a rape case.

Patrick O'Brien was released on bail, pending an appeal, after having nine years of a 12-year sentence suspended.

He had pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his daughter over ten years, beginning when she was seven.

Enda Kenny said he greatly admired the courage of the victim, Fiona Doyle.

He said the nation was filled with revulsion by the case.

'Devastation'

"I would like to believe that others who have or are subject to a rape or incest or crimes of this horrific nature, would not lose courage in coming forward to say their piece," he added.

He also said he hoped the Court of Criminal Appeal would deal with the case as a priority.

Although parliamentary rules don't allow for politicians to comment on individual sentences the Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, called on the government to introduce legislation on mandatory sentencing.

Mr Adams mentioned sexual abuse in his own family.

"My father was an abuser and that creates devastation in a family, which is beyond description.

"It takes a hugely strong family to cope with that and I'm blessed that I have that.

"But we have a duty to actively protect those who fall victim to abuse. And Fiona Doyle does deserve the support of this Dail", he said.