A Galway man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court for sexually abusing his sister for almost a decade.
The 55-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to indecently assaulting his sister in the family home and later raping her in his car between January 1971 and August 1980.
The now 49-year-old complainant told Ms Mary-Ellen Ring SC, prosecuting, that she had “no friendship” with her brother, can’t remember ever having a conversation with him, and was terrified of being alone with him once the abuse had started.
The woman said that she was 10 years old when her brother first led her into a bedroom, took down her clothes, and indecently assaulted her. A few weeks later the accused brought his sister into a bedroom, lay behind her, and “tried to push into” her. The victim said that this happened many times over the years though she didn’t know what was going on because at the time she had not learned about sex education. She said that she was terrified of being alone with her brother even on occasions when he didn’t abuse her.
“I can remember the terror more than I can remember the abuse,” said that woman who then told Ms Ring that her brother first raped her when she was about 15 years old on a bog road in his car as he drove her home from a local dance. She said that when she got home she washed herself because she felt “so terrible”. The court heard that the accused raped his sister many times after this usually on the way home from the dance and that the abuse only stopped when he moved away from home. The final time the accused gave her a lift home was the night before his wedding.
When Mr Martin Giblin SC, defending, put it to her that none of the incidents she described had ever happened the woman replied: “Every one of them happened. I didn’t spend years going to counselling for nothing.”
Mr Giblin then said that the two siblings had had a good relationship right up until the woman had made the allegations. The woman denied this and explained that she was always smiling at various family functions, sometimes hosted by her brother, because she had to put on “a happy front” otherwise she would have been asked questions that she wasn’t prepared to answer at the time. She agreed that other family members would have seen her dancing and having a drink with her brother at these gatherings but that the friendship was false.
The trial continues.