A brave Donegal woman waived her anonymity to tell a court how her father raped her each week while her mother was out of the house.
Maurice Lafferty, 50, of Corcullen, Castlefin pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping his daughter Annie Lafferty at his home on dates between 1 November 2010 and 30 June 2011.
Garda Sergeant Joe Dorian told Paul Carroll SC, prosecuting, that the accused’s wife worked in Letterkenny and lived away from the home four nights a week during the period of offending.
RTE reports that Sgt Dorian said that on a night in November 2010, Lafferty came into his then 17-year-old daughter’s bedroom. “You’re my good little girl, you’re the only one I can trust,” Lafferty said to her.
He started to grope her and said he wanted to “show how much I love you”. His daughter tried to push him away and he called her “a tramp” before pinning her on the bed and raping her.
Afterwards, he told her not to tell anyone about what he had done. Lafferty said that no one would believe her and that her younger siblings would be taken away if she said anything.
Sgt Dorian said that Lafferty continued to rape his daughter once per week.
Ms Lafferty, 25, told the court she wished to waive her right to anonymity.
In her victim impact statement, which she read out in court, she said her parents were more interested in drinking than being parents and she took over caring for her younger siblings.
Ms Lafferty said “to say I was scared is an understatement” during the period she was abused by her father. She said that “instead of protecting me, he was the one who did me harm”.
“My cry for help was ignored”, said Ms Lafferty. She said she told her mother about the abuse, only for her mother to turn her back on her and believe her father’s version of events.
She said he was the one who decided what she did and “it was like I was a puppet attached to strings”. She said the “scars that man left on me will always be there”.
Anne Rowland SC, defending, said her client was “drinking extremely heavily” at the time of the offences.
She said he suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which causes him to “black out” during fits of extreme coughing.
Ms Rowland said that Lafferty built his house himself and it is about to be repossessed.
Mr Justice Alex Owens remanded Lafferty on continuing bail and adjourned the matter for sentencing on 29 April next.