James O’Reilly Jailed For Sexually Abusing Daughters And Sister

James O’Reilly, 75 years old, has been jailed for 20 years following the allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually abusing his seven daughters and his younger sister.

The abuse took place over a 23-year period, during which time O’Reilly, from Killeen, Ballynonty, Thurles subjected his daughters to “horrific” abuse.

The Court heard how O’Reilly repeatedly raped and abused them, subjecting them to “beatings, starvation and degradation” throughout that period.

One of his daughters even became pregnant, giving birth to his child following the rape.

The victims have waived their right to anonymity.

O’Reilly’s eldest daughter, Helen, spoke outside the court.

Surrounded by her six sisters, she urged other victims of sexual abuse to stand up and “come forward”.

“I was abused from the age of four upwards so I would say, all women – never mind traveller women who were abused – come forward.”

“Don’t be afraid like we were.”

“We didn’t know who to go to or what to do.”

“We got no education, we got nothing.”

“Now I’m not afraid.”

“He’s going to do time for what he did years ago.”

Helen said that if they had all had the strength and courage to come forward sooner, then her father would have been jailed years ago.

She said it “made us stronger” that they had finally done so.

O’Reilly was sentenced to 20 years at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

The Judge described O’Reilly’s actions as “horrific” and said that he would have been given life in prison, but due to his age, he could only sentence him to 20 years.

In sentencing, the Judge had to take into account the abuse of his position, the duration of the offending and the incalculable pain and harm caused to the victims.

O’Reilly maintained his denial of the allegations throughout, and showed no remorse when he was convicted.

 

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