The abuse had affected Ms McCarthy Garofalo, her parents and her children, the judge added. He said her siblings are all high achievers, and he had “every reason” to believe she too would have done well in life had it not for been “for the intervention of Bernard Delaney”.
The judge said her account of what had happened to her before and after the abuse was harrowing. The abuse she suffered had “devastated and blighted every aspect of her life”, he added.
As a result of the abuse she had found it difficult to form relationships with other people and had ended up abusing alcohol and taking drugs, the judge said.
She was unable to attend court for this morning’s ruling due to illness. Delaney, with an address at Oaktree Lawn, Castleknock, Dublin was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to sexually and indecently assaulting seven girls during the 1970s and 1980s. The former accountant was released from Arbour Hill Prison more than a year ago.
Ms McCarthy Garofalo (45), Palmerstown Wood, Dublin, sued Delaney over sexually abusing her on numerous occasions at various locations in Dublin, beginning in 1972 when she was aged four and ending 10 years later in 1982. As a result, she says she has suffered from depression and alcoholism and has been unable to form meaningful relationships with other people. The court also heard she suffered from anorexia nervosa and cancer which she believes is linked to her abuse.
Today, the judge said Ms McCarthy Garofalo’s belief there is a link between her cancer and other illnesses and her abuse was not something the court should dismiss. Mr Justice Birmingham also told the court the evidence from Dr Lambe, in particular the comment that he ranked the abuse the plaintiff had suffered as being in the top three cases he had dealt with, was “telling”.