A teacher who raped and sexually abused his younger brother when they were children has been jailed for eight and a half years.
Graham Daly (37) was “a big brother who should have protected his younger brother”, Ms Justice Karen O’Connor said. Instead, Daly abused his brother Thomas over a four-year period from when the boy was 10 years old.
Daly, of Clonree, Newport, Co Tipperary, was found guilty by a jury of seven counts of raping and sexually abusing his brother on dates between January 1998 and December 2002 following a Central Criminal Court trial last December. Most of the abuse took place in the family home in Co Limerick, the trial heard.
Daly does not accept the verdict of the jury and continues to maintain his innocence, the court heard. His younger brother waived his right to anonymity, meaning Daly can be named.
Sentencing him on Monday, Ms Justice O’Connor noted Daly denied the charges “vociferously” at all times and raised a number of motives as to why his brother would accuse him of sexual abuse.
Daly suggested his brother was “lying because he was jealous of his achievements” and that the younger man “wanted to destroy his older brother’s life” because Daly disclosed to his parents that his younger brother is gay, the court heard. The men’s parents have sided with Daly against their younger son.
Ms Justice O’Connor paid tribute to Thomas Daly, who she said conducted himself in a dignified manner throughout the trial process.
She noted the abuse has had a devastating impact on his life and on his family life.
Handing down an eight-and-a-half year sentence, Ms Justice O’Connor said that had Daly been an adult at the time of the offending, she would have imposed a longer sentence. However, she noted she had to treat Daly as a juvenile because the abuse of his brother ended around the time he turned 18. She backdated the sentence to when he went into custody last month.
In a victim impact statement which he read out in court last week, Thomas Daly described how his parents initially supported him when he confided in his father about the abuse in 2015.
Mr Daly said he had kept the abuse a secret for 18 years and it was “such a relief to share the burden”. His father accompanied him when he went to gardaí early in 2016.
However, he said it soon emerged that his parents were only prepared to support him if he kept the abuse “among ourselves”. “Why should I stay silent?” he said, adding: “I was happy for everyone to know,” but said this proved “detrimental” to his family life.
“(My parents) blamed me, took the side of my brother and I was forced out of the family home.”
Mr Daly said he used to have sympathy for his parents, but not any more. “I was telling the truth and I have proved it,” he said. “It’s easier for them to believe that I’m a liar than believe their oldest son is a paedophile rapist.”
He paid tribute to his partner, whom he met a year after he disclosed the abuse and who has supported him throughout the entire process. He added he has constant nightmares and has struggled with depression, insomnia, PTSD and suicidal thoughts.
It’s no longer justice I seek – It is vindication.
“There’s no happy ending for me,” he said, adding that no matter what sentence his brother receives, it will change nothing for him.
“I lost 18 years of my life,” he said. “It’s no longer justice I seek – It is vindication.”
The parents were in court for the sentencing hearing, sitting apart from their younger son, holding hands.
The court heard the case was listed for trial five or six times before it was eventually heard at Croke Park late last year.
Sergeant Paul Crowley told Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, that the abuse began when Daly started inappropriately touching his younger brother, then aged 10. The abuse then progressed to rape, the court heard, and ended when the older brother left home.
The older brother holds a degree and a masters and has had a successful career in teaching, the court heard. He has no previous convictions.
Mr McGrath told the court Daly should be treated as a juvenile as the offending occurred up until the time he turned 18.
Colman Cody SC, defending, said his client is “adamant” he is innocent and he does not accept the verdicts of the jury.
He said he has a history of mental health issues and was diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder and would find prison “particularly difficult”. Mr Cody said that while there has been “stress, trauma and division” in the family, they are also close-knit and supportive.
Mr Cody urged Ms Justice O’Connor to hand down a proportionate sentence, bearing in mind his client was a juvenile at the time.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.