"He raped me 40 years ago. I can still smell him on me."
Presenter and doctor Ciara Kelly has revealed that a “prominent man in the Irish media” could be an “Irish Weinstein.”
It recently broke that over 80 women have reported that film producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted them.
These allegations, along with the conviction of Tom Humphries, have brought the often silent issue of sexual abuse into public discourse. The horrifying truth is that these abusers cannot be distinguished from normal people – a thesis developed by journalist Fintan O’Toole in his Irish Times piece, ‘We all know a Tom Humphries, even if we don’t know we do.’
The column outlines O’Toole’s harrowing story of how a family friend was outed as a child abuser.
“The abuser is still just a friend, a colleague, a neighbour, a family member – a good bloke, a decent skin, a pillar of the community. He does not have the mark of the beast on his forehead,” O’Toole writes. O’Toole also says that he had actually admired Humphries, and at one point believed he was one of the best journalists in Ireland – not a small statement given O’Toole’s distinction in the profession.
Dr Kelly shared this article, saying it is “depressingly accurate.”
She then revealed that a woman had approached her, alleging that a “prominent” Irish media personality sexually assaulted her.
“A woman I don’t know approached me recently about a prominent man in the Irish media. ‘He raped me 40 yrs ago. I can still smell him on me,’ she said visibly distressed. I don’t know this man well – I’ve met him twice though both times in a group setting,” Dr Kelly wrote, adding the hashtag #IrishWeinstein.
Dr Kelly then shared her own experience with this man, who pestered her personally over Twitter.
“He messaged me immediately after the first meeting by Twitter DM. He was v complimentary “you are v talented we must meet for coffee” he said. I declined something about him made me uneasy. I was polite though I was friendly. Many many messages came I declined other invitations.
“I met him again – we were at same event, I spoke to him briefly but didn’t engage – I was with friends. More messages came “who do you think you are? You’re becoming a national joke” late at night followed by “please forgive me I don’t know what came over me” the following morning.
“I didn’t reply – it went on for months, I spoke to friends they all had stories they’d heard “Be careful he’s violent – he beat his wife” he had a car back in the day he offer girls lifts home – the passenger door handle was broken – they couldn’t get out.”
“I have friend he did same to – he plagued her – ‘be careful he’s supposed to be awful’. The messages – bizarre in their over familiarity stopped eventually and I half forgot.
“Then this woman approached me ‘I came still smell him on me – there were lots of us,’ she said.”
“And I believed her. I’ve thought a lot about this and am shaking writing these tweets but I believe that women that this man raped her and likely others and I believe he beat his wife and had a car he gave lifts in… so I’m putting this out there…”
Dr Kelly now hopes to help others who also may have been abused by this man, saying: “If you think you know who I’m talking about… and if you have been affected please contact me and let’s try to right this,” adding the hashtag #IBelieveYou #IrishWeinstein.
Please note: If you have been affected by the contents of this article, the following resources may help you:
Donegal Rape Crisis: Visit their webiste on www.donegalrapecrisis.ie, or call them on 074-9128211. You can freephone 1800 44 88 44 or email email@example.com.
Rape Crisis Help: Visit their website on www.rapecrisishelp.ie or contact their 24/7 helpline on 1800 778888.
To contact your local Gardaí you can get the contact details of your local station by clicking here.
You can also contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.