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Abuse survivor waives anonymity as her father is sentenced to 13 years in prison
Coleman Legal LLP
April 29, 2024
Patrick Honan, 69, of Doonbeg, Co Clare, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for abusing his daughter Noreen for 13 years. Noreen bravely waived her anonymity to seek justice.

Abuse survivor sees father sentenced to 13 years

69-year-old Patrick Honan of Doonbeg, Co Clare, has been jailed for the sexual abuse of his daughter Noreen, which spanned over 13 years. Honan, who was found guilty of 48 sample charges, including 25 counts of rape and 23 of indecent assault, was sentenced to 13 years in prison, with the final 18 months suspended.

The abuse which occurred at their family home began when Noreen was only three-and-a-half years old and continued until she was 16. Noreen has waived her anonymity for her abuser also to be named. Noreen described to the court how the abuse worsened over the years, with no significant breaks in the pattern.

She noted that the assaults became somewhat less frequent but more severe after she reached puberty, as there were fewer opportunities for her father to abuse her. The abuse survivor described the most traumatic time being when her mother was hospitalised for 53 days during her final pregnancy, giving Patrick unrestricted access to Noreen.

Judge Siobhán Lankford highlighted that Patrick Honan would use Noreen asking for money for typical childhood activities as an opportunity to demand sexual favours. She eventually disclosed to her mother that her father had been abusing her for years. He initially admitted to some incidents and apologised but later denied these admissions to the police.

Judge Lankford emphasised the gravity of Honan’s crimes, representing a significant breach of trust. The court acknowledged that Noreen should have felt nurtured and protected at home. The court praised the victim for her dignified conduct and courage throughout the proceedings.

Noreen made a brief statement following the sentencing, saying her father had robbed her of her entire youth, causing lifelong suffering. She has urged all victims of sexual abuse to come forward. Despite a plea from the defence to conceal Honan’s identity due to concerns about the impact on his grandchildren in their small rural town, the judge ruled that he lost the right to anonymity, especially since Noreen had chosen to have her name released.

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

Head of Client Services

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