| 16.8°C Dublin

courage Woman raped by brother as child was ostracised by family for speaking out

After the ordeal of bringing the case to court and the subsequent fallout she said she would still make the same decision if given the choice again

Close

Doreen and her husband Tom have been though a very tough time since she first started proceedings against her brother

Doreen and her husband Tom have been though a very tough time since she first started proceedings against her brother

Doreen and her husband Tom have been though a very tough time since she first started proceedings against her brother

A woman whose childhood was destroyed by her rapist brother has spoken out to encourage other abuse victims to come forward.

Doreen Stamp said she is relieved Colm Doyle has been jailed after her arduous bid to get justice for the crimes he committed against her as a teenager.

"If there is anyone else out there, it is a hard road, but it is a worthwhile road," she said.

Her brother received a six-year prison sentence on January 31 at the Central Criminal Court where he had pleaded guilty to a series of rape and sexual assault charges.

Three years older than Doreen, Doyle was 13 when the abuse started and continued until he was 19-years-old, when he met a girl he later married.

"It has been very, very costly from a personal point of view. My relationship with my dad disintegrated over it.

In her victim impact statement, Doreen said that her father and siblings had not stood by her since she came forward about the abuse.

"My relationship with my younger brother and sister disintegrated," Doreen told the Sunday World.

Doreen said she and her husband Tom also struggled with what she had gone through as she began to face up to her childhood nightmare following the death of her mother in 2016.

Close

Colm Doyle, sentenced to six years on 31 January 2022 for rape and sexual assault of his sister Doreen Stamp

Colm Doyle, sentenced to six years on 31 January 2022 for rape and sexual assault of his sister Doreen Stamp

Colm Doyle, sentenced to six years on 31 January 2022 for rape and sexual assault of his sister Doreen Stamp

"It put a massive pressure on our marriage, we nearly disintegrated over it and we are still struggling. It put a huge wedge and a weight of pressure over us," she said.

"The people who stand by you are the people that matter and the people who choose not to, you see their true colours and move on without them."

After going through the ordeal of bringing the case to court and the subsequent fallout with family members, she said she would still make the same decision to press ahead if given the choice again.

"Yes, I would, despite all the fall-out. I have told the truth. I haven't spoken a lie to anyone."

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

It was heard during the trial how both siblings had been adopted but their mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder, subjected them to extreme violence.

"We lived in a constant state of survival mode - you learned from a very young age to gauge her humour, stay out of her way, keep your head down."

"All of us, including my older brother, got unmerciful physical beatings, thrown against walls, stamped on your stomach, spat at in the face," Doreen said.

"My older brother and myself were told on regular basis that we were adopted sh***s. She told me that my own mother hadn't wanted me, she didn't want me but she was stuck with me."

In her victim impact statement to the court, Doreen made it clear that she and her brother had both suffered abuse at the hands of their mother but "he just added to the pain".

"He should have been my protector, my hero and my go-to person, but instead he put his curiosity, his needs and wants first.

"It went on from the age of 10 until 16. When I was 16, he would have been 19 and he met his present wife and it stopped.

"At 10 you don't understand why your brother is coming into to your room, holding your hands over your head and you're crying telling him to stop. He's pulling down your pyjamas bottoms and putting his hand up your top."

When her mother died in September 2016 Doreen said she was extremely upset and someone asked her why, considering the cruelty she suffered at her hands.

"It was like a bucket of cold water," Doreen said.

"I think then I understood I was crying for the childhood I never had, for the approval I never got, for the hugs and the 'good girl, you're great' I never got.

"The whole deck of cards I had maintained for so long just came crumbling down. I had a mental breakdown really, I couldn't cope."

Close

Doreen and Tom Stamp. Photo: Sunday World

Doreen and Tom Stamp. Photo: Sunday World

Doreen and Tom Stamp. Photo: Sunday World

Her decision to report the abuse to the gardaí has led to Doreen being ostracised by her family, a factor the trial judge took into account when sentencing Doyle.

Passing sentence, Justice Tony Hunt said he fully accepts Ms Stamp's description that the offending has had a huge impact on her life, including being ostracised by certain family members since coming forward about the abuse.

When her father died in January, Doreen was told he had said he did not want her to come to the funeral.

"That was very hurtful and still is. He didn't like me telling the truth about my mother or my brother, I should have kept quiet."

On one occasion as an adult, Doreen said she tried to raise the subject of her childhood with him.

"I asked him why he didn't do anything. He said: 'I couldn't say anything to anyone because you would have been taken away from me'.

"I just looked at him in the eye and I knew I hurt him, I said 'well maybe that wouldn't have been a bad thing'."

She wrote a letter to her brother reminding him of what he had done and, after undergoing counselling, she plucked up the courage to send it to him.

"He sent a text to me and to Tom saying he was sorry, he was a different man and had forgotten all about it. I remember thinking to myself 'isn't it well for him, I haven't for one day'."

Doreen said her brother Colm had denied the sexual abuse to their father and told him he would be fighting the allegations.

But when the case came to court he pleaded guilty to a sample of 28 offences out of the 103 charges brought against him.

The trial judge noted that Colm Doyle had "put his hands up" and expressed remorse, and said: "Perhaps it's time for others to take their cue from that".

Doreen said: "The way I feel about the jail sentence is that he got six years, he abused me for six years. He's doing a year for every year he did to me.

"I feel it's a relief that people know the life we lived. The façade of the perfect family with the villas and the country homes and the ponies and the fee-paying schools."

There was an insight into Doreen's nightmare at the trial where details of the abuse inflicted on her were heard.

Doyle had told her it was not wrong because they were not biological siblings and claimed a Catholic priest had told him to practice sex on his sister.

He began molesting Doreen when she was around ten years old or younger which continued for six years as he went on to rape and orally rape her.

"Until the day I die this will stay with me," she said.

Abuse victims can find help at RapeCrisisHelp.ie or the 24 hour helpline on 1800 778888.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy