Limerick child rapist will be back on streets eight years early

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Convicted rapist Patrick 'Whacker' O'Dea

A RAPIST who was sentenced to 17 years in prison will be back on the streets of Limerick in five years time – eight years early – his distraught victim has been told.

Limerick mother, Leona O’Callaghan faced down Patrick ‘Whacker’ O’Dea of Pike Avenue in Limerick in court four years ago and waived her anonymity so that he could be named.

He was sentenced to eighteen and a half years with eighteen months suspended after pleading guilty to raping and sexually assaulting Ms O’Callaghan when she was twelve years old.

But now the victim liaison service has told her that he will likely be free again in five years time.

In a letter this week to Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, Ms O’Callaghan told the Minister an early release for her rapist “means that I have now five years, not 13 years to prepare myself for this man to be able to walk the same street as me and my children and there will be nothing I can do about it.

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“It means that in five years time I may need to queue behind the man who violated every inch of my body, in my local shop, my local pub, my local supermarket.”

Ms O’Callaghan told the Limerick Post she is terrified that she may have to meet him even sooner if he gets parole because of good behaviour.

She asked Minister McEntee “Are you going to house him next to your family? Are his local amenities going to be the ones you risk your children sharing with him in five years?”

In an impassioned plea for the serial rapist to serve his time, the Limerick mother spoke of her fear that her adult son might be angered to the point of seeking revenge if he has to meet “the man that repeatedly raped his mother, that’s responsible for her having many admissions to psychiatric departments throughout his childhood, and hope my son and other children knows that he, under your system, must simply not react.

“I need to face the worry that my son or any loved one might retaliate in these unfair circumstances and end up ruining their own lives trying to get the justice your system promised to give.”

And O’Dea, she pointed out, is not just serving a sentence for raping her but also serving 15 years for raping a six-year-old child, with both sentences running concurrently.

“In the legal system that you oversee, he won’t even actually end up serving 15 years for even one of us…your system forces us victims to come to terms with the fact that each individual child, each individual rape is not prosecuted and held on its own validity, we are seen as one.

“This gives monsters like him the view that if they get caught for one, they may as well get caught for more. I wonder if the thought of your own children walking the streets with a man of this mindset allows you sleep.”

Leona O’Callaghan.