No judges accept offer of Rape Crisis Centre training

Tuesday 18 February 2014 21.56
Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop said judges need to be educated on the impact of rape on an individual
Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop said judges need to be educated on the impact of rape on an individual

The CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has said none of Ireland's judges have accepted its offer of special training in how to deal with rape cases.

Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop's comments follow a rape sentence in which the judge said he did not believe the victim had suffered a "profound psychological effect".

Mr Justice Barry White imposed a seven-and-a-half year sentence, with three-and-a-half years suspended, on developer Thomas Egan of Cahermurphy, Kilmihil, Co Clare for the rape of a Brazilian woman, who he had asked to clean his house.

The judge told the 47-year-old father-of-four that he could not "buy himself out" of a custodial sentence.

However, Justice White added that the victim seemed to be "more interested in compensation rather than anything else".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms O'Malley-Dunlop welcomed the judge's comments that he would not accept an offer of compensation in lieu of a custodial sentence.

However, she added that judges need to be educated on the impact of rape on an individual.

"While somebody may seem to be ok, may seem not affected by what has happened to them, that is not necessarily the case."

She said the Rape Crisis Centre has offered education programmes to the judiciary, but no judges have ever taken up the offer.

Asked how long the centre had offered the training, Ms O'Malley-Dunlop said: "For quite a long time."

She said following a recent meeting with the Chief Justice, she was hopeful that the programme will be advanced shortly.