First photo of Ballyfermot ‘monster’ jailed for raping daughters, sisters and niece over 40 years

Vile beast Richard O’Brien (61), who denied all the offences, was jailed for life on Monday

Richard O’Brien was sentenced to life in prison

Patrick O'Connell

This is the first picture of the ‘evil monster’ who was jailed for life this week for the rape and sexual abuse of his sisters, niece and later his own daughters during four decades of horrific offending.

Richard O’Brien (61), who denied all the offences, was jailed for life on Monday after he was convicted unanimously by a jury following a trial earlier this year.

After the landmark sentence handed down by Judge Mary Ellen Ring, one of O’Brien’s victims said on Facebook: “This is the face of the man that was supposed to be our father, brother and uncle.

“Instead, he was the man that abused us throughout our childhoods.

“He destroyed our lives.

“He took our innocence away from us.

“But from today, we took control back.

“We put you in that corner and showed you what we are made of.

“Five strong women.

“You are a monster.

“I hope you rot in hell and get everything you deserve.”

Referring to the sentence itself, she said: “Today was the happiest day of my life.

“Justice has been served well and truly. I’m so relieved that today was the last day we ever had to look at that monster’s face. Onto bigger and better things for us girls. It’s been a long time coming.”

At Monday’s sentencing in the Central Criminal Court, all five of O’Brien’s victims waived their right to anonymity so he could be named.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the abuse of his two sisters and his niece occurred at his family home at O’Moore Road, Ballyfermot, and continued until each of the three women ran away as teenagers.

The women described growing up in a dysfunctional home where there was neglect, physical abuse and little point in disclosing the abuse they were suffering at the hands of their brother.

They outlined how terrified they were of O’Brien, who also physically assaulted them.

His sisters told how he had wrung the necks of a puppy and a kitten belonging to them during their childhood.

O’Brien went to sexually abuse and rape his own two daughters until they were taken into care.

One of his daughters later told her foster mother that she had been sexually abused by her father, and the Gardaí were alerted.

Her younger sister, aunts and cousin also came forward.

O’Brien of Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 11, was convicted by a jury of 63 counts of rape, sexual assault and indecent assault against the five victims on dates between 1975 and 2011.

Passing sentence, Judge Mary Ellen Ring noted the harrowing evidence heard during the trial and the immense damage caused to each of the victims.

She told them that they had nothing to be ashamed of and had done nothing wrong.

“The only person in this court room who should be ashamed is Richard O’Brien.”

She told them that they should not worry what others have to say and reminded them that the 12 men and women on the jury had believed their evidence.

She told the older women that despite what had happened to them as children and without parental role models, they had become wonderful mothers and grandmothers and this was a terrific achievement.

“Stop giving time and headspace to Richard O Brien,” she told them.

She told them that they had achieved so much against the odds, the time is now to let those achievements in and their brother out. She wished them well into the future.

Turning to O’Brien, she noted he had abused a position of trust as an older brother, an uncle and a father. She noted he was facing the remaining years of life and had medical issues.

She took into account medical reports and letters from family members handed into court.

Ms Justice Ring noted O’Brien had shown no remorse and no acceptance of his offending. She said the offending against his two daughters had been “at the very apex” of the serious offence of rape.

She said that by the time he began abusing his own daughters he was an adult, perhaps damaged by neglect but now building his own family, and that he had made a conscious decision to rape and sexually assault his own flesh and blood until social services intervened.

She said that there was continued failure on his part to recognise the damage done.

Ms Justice Ring imposed a life sentence in relation to the rape offences committed by O’Brien on his two daughters.

She imposed concurrent sentences totalling 11 years in relation to the other offending.

The sentences will commence from when O’Brien went into custody in March.

It’s understood O’Brien’s victims hope that the sentence handed down to O’Brien will encourage other victims of abuse to come forward.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.

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