A 77-year-old man is facing seven years in jail for raping his daughter.  

James Broderick was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court to 15 years in prison, with the final eight years suspended, for the rape and indecent assault of his daughter Rita Broderick, who has waived her right to anonymity.

The abuse began when she was four years old.

Broderick, of Lyster Street, Athlone, had pleaded guilty to the sample charges of rape and indecent assault, between 1 January 1983 and December 1984.

Passing sentence at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said he had to take into account the "extraordinary degree of mitigating factors" and Broderick's age of commencement of the sentence.

Mr Justice Hunt said the abuse was at the upper end of the scale and could never result in a non-custodial sentence.

He said the abuse was "progressive, frequent and Broderick took every available opportunity to foist himself on this daughter".

However, he said he had taken account of the "truly exceptional feature" of this case in that it did not begin with a complaint by the injured party, but because Broderick gave a voluntary statement to gardaí.

In her victim impact statement to the court, Ms Broderick described her childhood as a "war zone".

The judge commended Ms Broderick, who has a dissociative identity disorder, for her measured statement to the court.

Mr Justice Hunt said that "taking an ordinary view the emotional, physical and other abuse was very likely to be a contributing factor," to her illness.

Broderick also took the stand during the case to apologise to his daughter.