NewsCrime Desk

Wife of rapist Patrick O'Brien arrested over role in abuse of daughter Fiona Doyle

Fiona Doyle speaking to Nicola Tallant last week
Fiona Doyle speaking to Nicola Tallant last week
Bridget O’Brien (left)
Bridget O’Brien (left)

The mother of rape victim Fiona Doyle was arrested today and held for questioning in relation to the abuse of her daughter.

Breda O’Brien went voluntarily to Shankill Garda Station this morning where she was arrested and quizzed for over five hours about her alleged role in the rape and abuse of Fiona.

The arrest follows a re-launch of the investigation into the wife of vile abuser Patrick O’Brien who pleaded guilty to a string of sex offences against his daughter and had his sentence tripled by a Court of Appeal earlier this year.

Fiona has always insisted that her mother knew of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father from the age of three and regularly called her; ‘your father’s whore.’

She wrote to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan last January asking her to consider investigating her mother’s role in what happened to her as a child.

Within months she was informed that Breda, also known as Bridget, was under investigation for any crimes she may have committed by ignoring the rapes.

Mr O’Brien pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 charges of raping and indecently assaulting her at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road in Dun Laoghaire from 1973 to 1982.

He was initially sentenced to 12 years with 9 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.

Last week Fiona Doyle says that her mother always knew about her abuse. She could now face jail too for her role in the systematic rape and abuse of her daughter.

If charged, it is understood, she will be the first ever woman held to account for standing by while her child was sexually attacked within the home.

 Last week Fiona told the Sunday World:

“You have no idea how much it means to me that the Gardaí are taking her role in my abuse so seriously.

“For a long time now women, who have stood back, and facilitated and allowed children to be abused within their homes have got away with that and they have had to face no consequences for their in-action or for actually participating in abuse.

“I think that is very wrong and I want an example to be made out of my mother. I want her to pay for what she did. She knew all along that my father was abusing me.

“As far back as I can remember, she knew. When I was little she would wake me up at night and pick me up and put me in his bed. Then she would go and get into my bed. I would have only been six or seven then. She delivered me to him.

“She would throw him out after a row and tell him ‘don’t forget your whore’. That’s how she referred to me – as my father’s ‘whore.’ She was very vocal about it to people and would tell them that I was ‘sleeping’ with my father.”

Breda O’Brien was released without charge around 3pm today. It is understood a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.