Aimee Foley

A Clare woman who endured years of “brutal” abuse at the hands of her father hopes that by speaking out she can help others. 

Aimee Foley spoke bravely about the ordeal she was put through by Michael O’Donoghue who she has described as a “monster, a paedophile, an animal.” Michael O’Donoghue (44), of Colmanstown, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, pleaded guilty to 31 counts of sexually assaulting Ms Foley, one count of raping her and one count of producing child pornography in various locations in Galway between April 2012 and April 2018. Aimee was aged between 12 and 17 at the time of the abuse.

The court heard O’Donoghue plied his daughter with alcohol and drugs before abusing her. At the central criminal court in December 2021, O’Donoghue received a five year prison sentence. Speaking this week, Aimee said all she wanted was a father who would love and encourage her. “I never got that, I got the monster. I got the animal”, Aimee told RTE’s Claire Byrne live.

Aimee recalled how she was mentally, physically and sexually abused by her father from an early age. “I was groomed that way. I was completely brainwashed”. Aimee said her ordeal has left her with a “life sentence”. “No matter when I learn how to cope with what I have to cope with, I will have to take that with me through life.” She compared this to her father who received a five year sentence and will “be out in less than three”. “It’s so hard to be on the other end of things, why did I bother. At the end of the day he’s going to be out in the blink of an eye”, she added

Aimee said that when she heard the length of the sentence handed down to he father, it felt like the weight of world had landed back on her shoulders. “It was just a completely re-traumatising event”. Aimee described the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father as “brutal” and said she had always been afraid him. She recalled how he introduced her to cannabis and alcohol at an early to age. Aimee said she is happy that director of public prosecutions (DPP) is considering appealing the leniency of the sentence. She said she is speaking out to help others who may be experiencing abuse and difficult situations.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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