A trawl of documents by staff at the Lucena Clinic, Rathgar, Dublin, resulted in the discovery of a file containing notes of a discussion between two doctors referring to Fiona’s case.
In the handwritten discussion notes – dated October 4, 1982 – one of the two doctors describes how Fiona was “admitted to Monkstown for anal warts”, adding they “have treated her”.
The horrifying document continues: “Mother says father is sexually interfering with Fiona who is 16 +. Mother saw them in bed together at friend’s house.”
This sentence is accompanied with a hand-written note asking: “How long ago?”
The Sunday World understands gardai in Shankill – who last month quizzed Fiona’s mother Breda O’Brien regarding possible complicity in husband Patrick O’Brien’s abuse of their daughter – have now been informed of the existence of the notes.
It’s understood administrators at the Lucena Clinic – a child and adolescent mental health service provider run by St John of Gods, who were heavily involved with members of Fiona’s family – wrote to gardai to inform them of the existence of the documents in recent weeks.
It’s understood they may play a vital role in any prosecution arising from her arrest.
Breda – who stood by Patrick O’Brien through his trial and subsequent imprisonment for abusing Fiona – hasn’t visited O’Brien in Arbour Hill Prison, where he is serving a nine year sentence for rape and sexual assault, since her arrest.
O’Brien has been removed from prison to attend hospital appointments on several occasions in the last year. Breda’s arrest last month followed a relaunch of the investigation into what role, if any, she played in the abuse.
O’Brien pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 charges of raping and indecently assaulting Fiona at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road in Dun Laoghaire from 1973 to 1982.
He was initially sentenced to 12 years, with nine suspended, but was then granted bail by Mr Justice Paul Carney on the basis that the case was fit for appeal.
A public outcry followed and he was placed in custody. An appeal saw the sentence tripled.
Fiona has always insisted that her mother knew of the abuse and that her mum regularly called her “your father’s whore”.
She wrote to Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan last January to ask her to consider investigating her mother’s role in what happened to her as a child. Within months, she was informed Breda, also known as Bridget, was under investigation for any crimes she may have committed by ignoring the rapes.
Fiona was not available for comment this week on the existence of the note.
She has become the public face of a campaign to have mothers who fail to report abuse of their kids by vile partners brought to justice.