THE MAYOR of Kilkenny has urged all victims of child sex abuse to report their abusers to gardai following the bravery shown by Kilkenny born singer/songwriter Majella Murphy who waived her right to anonymity in order to get justice.
"I want to applaud Majella Murphy for waiving her right to anonymity and for going public. I hope that it helps people to come forward so that the perpetrators of this heinous and inhumane crime are brought to justice," Mayor Martin Brett said.
The 37-year-old was abused at the hands of Mick Butler from Maudlin Street in the city from the age of eight to 13. She decided to go public and tell her story in order 'to get justice' following the release of her attacker who only served five months of a 12-year sentence.
"I came into contact with Mick Butler when I was eight years old. He was seen as a pillar of the commmunity who went to Mass every day and took the children fishing and organised fishing competitions for them. I believe that he groomed the entire community, the parents, the relatives and the different families whose children he was interested in. He was always around and went to Mass every day and seemed to be trustworthy," she said.
"The only way to get justice is to go public because I did not want him giong back to my town and telling anyone who would listen and very few people would listen and telling them that he was the wrongdoing. I wanted no doubt left. I did not want to go back to my town and have him telling people that he was the wrongdoing," she said.
Ms Murphy also told how she suffered intimidation for years from her abuser long after the physical abuse stopped and did not feel able to tell her family until she was 25. "I was afraid to tell for no reason" and endured feelings of 'unknown fear and shame'.
After Ms Murphy found out that she was not the only child who had been abused she took the decision to see her perprator prosecuted. "I phoned the police and asked them had anyone ever taken a case and they said that there was a case pending and I decided there and then to go for it." Mick Butler pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault.
In May 2009 Butler was sentenced to 12 years but only served five months of his sentence. Judge Olive Buttimer sentenced Butler to two years in prison on each of the six counts to run concurrently and suspended the sentences by 18-months. He was also ordered to enter a bond to be of good behaviour for 18-months on his release and to have no unsupervised contact with children.
Majella Murphy currently has a single released with all proceeds going to CARI which helps children and the families of those affected by sexual abuse. For more details or to listen to the single www.majellamurphy.com