Paedophile thanks daughter 'brave enough' to report him

A Donegal father who sexually abused his daughter has thanked her for being brave enough to report him.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted abusing his daughter in 2006 and 2007.

Letterkenny Circuit Court was told that on one occasion the man gave his wife money so she could go out with her friends and then he proceeded to abuse the girl.

Judge John O'Hagan sentenced the man to five years in prison.

The abuse came to light when the girl broke down in front of her mother after failing to return home from a friend's house.

When her mother got angry with her, her daughter told her about the abuse. The woman then confronted her husband and he admitted it was true and that he had "tried it on" with his daughter.

The man claimed his family had a very open attitude to sex and revealed they watched pornography together at home.

He said he couldn't explain why he did such awful things to his daughter and he thanked her for having the strength to contact the Gardai.

He told the court: "I can never fix the damage I have done to her."

Depression

In her statement, the girl said she never wanted to see her father again, that she now suffers from panic attacks, is being treated for depression and takes sleeping pills.

Judge O'Hagan said the case was particularly disturbing because it involved a father and daughter.

He said: "The effects are forever. Isn't it awful that a daughter never wants to see a father again?

"The sense of breach of trust is just awful to contemplate."

The man has now begun his five-year prison sentence and has been placed on the sex offenders' register for the rest of his life.