THREE brave girls of the “Irish Joseph Fritzl” today break their silence about their rapist father — and tell how no one helped their desperate mum.
Ashley, Iseult and Megan Manning have waived their right to anonymity to reveal how they, and three siblings, were conceived after their mother was sexually abused and “held like a captive” for nearly two decades by evil Sean McDarby.
The sisters say their mother Mary — who was beast McDarby’s stepdaughter — was repeatedly abused and lived in fear for years.
The monster first raped Mary in 1976 when she was just 12 years old and impregnated her for the first time when she was 16.
But when Mary reported the horrific situation, they said “no one did anything following mum’s numerous attempts to seek help”.
‘EVERY TIME SHE REACHED OUT – NOTHING HAPPENED’
Speaking for the first time about her horror ordeal, Iseult told the Irish Sun On Sunday: “I honestly do not know how she survived and every time she reached out, nothing happened.”
McDarby was arrested in his workplace at a haulage business in Dublin and questioned by cops.
He admitted that he fathered six children with Mary between 1981 and 1989 — but said he didn’t believe he did anything wrong.
McDarby, from Ballickmoyler, Co. Carlow, was accused of statutory rape, rape, disposing of a baby’s body, physically abusing Mary and isolating her and her children.
A lengthy file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) but no charges ever followed before his death more than ten years ago.
Shockingly, McDarby was the first to hear of the DPP’s decision.
‘OUR MOTHER HAS LIVED A LIFE OF HELL’
Ashley, 35, the eldest of the three, said the system let their mother down time and time again.
She said: “I am angry that no one stepped in to help my mother. She did avail of the rape crisis services, she did talk to social services and [the police] and so did her rapist, but nothing was ever done.
“The legal system, the support services… are to blame. This has affected all of us, our mother should have been given some right to justice, our mother has lived a life of hell and I’ve no idea how she got through it all.
“Despite everything she was able to separate her love for us, from the reality of our own conception, having come about as a result of such brutal rape by her stepfather Sean. This makes her an unbelievable person. Sean McDarby was pure evil.
“The anger I carried, I carried because sometimes she couldn’t. This is a result of the emotional and physical exhaustion she had from constantly fighting and trying to survive.
“I can only imagine how terrified she must have been, torn between protecting us and herself, and sleeping with a hammer under the pillow and locking every door and window in the house.
“I am really glad abortion is now allowed in Ireland particularly for cases of rape because it means my mother could have got away sooner had she decided to abort us.”
ATTACKS BEGAN AT 12
The Manning sisters have never referred to their mother’s rapist as their “father”.
Instead they call him the “Irish Joseph Fritzl” and say he treated their mum, who had no positive childhood experiences, like a slave.
Psycho Fritzl, 84, is serving a life sentence in Austria for holding his daughter captive in an underground cellar for 24 years where she was raped and beaten and gave birth to seven of his children.
Mary’s alcoholic mum Mona married McDarby a year after husband Richard, a respected businessman in Ardee, northeast Ireland died in 1973.
Three years later, when Mary was 12, the predator began raping her.
And in 1981, when she was 16, she became pregnant with her first child, Rory, and gave birth at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
The little boy was only three months old when Mary became pregnant again following another sex attack.
Six months later Mary miscarried at home in her bed following a particularly brutal rape.
McDarby, then 37, made her put the dead baby in a bag and he buried the child in a field on his former land in Carlow — where the tot remains today.
The rape and physical abuse continued and Mary gave birth to Ashley at the Coombe Hospital, in Dublin, in 1983.
After Mary became pregnant for a third time, he took her away from Ardee. He brought her to a house in Dublin where she reared all of her children on her own with no money or support and no contact with the outside world.
She then gave birth to Iseult in Holles Street in 1984.
Two years later another child — who was later adopted through St Patrick’s Guild Adoption Agency — was born. Mary never saw him again following his adoption. And in 1989, Megan was delivered at Holles Street hospital.
‘STRUGGLE WITH IDENTITY’
In an extraordinary interview, Ashley told how on one occasion Mary did escape to America with the help of a neighbour but returned when she learned her three girls were taken into care.
She added: “In a desperate effort, having received no help or support from the state, my mother fled when she was 22 to escape Sean McDarby’s systematic rape and abuse. We ended up in care.
“My mother had no choices. Her maternal instincts to protect and care for her children, forced her to return to Ireland, as she did not want us in care. Unbelievably, yet again the results of years of neglect were dictating the choices she had to make.”
McDarby is not on any of the children’s birth certificates but DNA has proven he is their father.
After being to moved to Dublin, Mary was totally cut off from family life, money and society. She was moved around the capital three times by McDarby.
The house in Ardee, northeast Ireland where Mary lived with rapist McDarby[/caption]
Iseult and Ashley Manning as children[/caption]
Iseult, 34, said: “It was his intention to isolate her and he knew the children would isolate her further, there’s a bond there with a mother and child and he knew she couldn’t go away.
“I have struggled with my identity, I ask myself, do I look like him? Do I act like him and do I have his personality traits?
“Our mother was forced to carry us alone. Giving birth, nobody came to visit her, he dropped her outside the different hospitals as part of his cover.
“How do I explain to friends and partners about my ‘father’? How I was raised and the childhood we had. People would say, ‘Where’s your dad?’. Teachers would ask me where’s your ‘father’.
“How did my mother give birth in so many hospitals with no one there and it never raised any suspicion?”
BEAST ‘DID NOT PERCEIVE IT AS ABUSE’
Eventually, Mary did make friends in Dublin and revealed her deepest and darkest secrets.
Through those pals, she sought help and counselling and met her now husband, Karl O’Reilly, with the couple going on to have three children together.
Mary reported McDarby to the Irish health service in 1988 before she went to the US and then to the Irish police in 1994.
However, Mary’s case didn’t make it to court and her civil case around 2005 collapsed because of time constraints.
Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show social services personnel asked McDarby during an interview had he abused Mary.
And even though Mary was underage during her first pregnancy, his response was that he “did not perceive it as abuse”.
Brave Mary went on to write the book Nobody Will Believe You in 2014, which told of her harrowing life at the hands of her stepfather.
Iseult still has many unanswered questions, asking: “Why was he not prosecuted? Why is it that the person who has been violated, physically mentally emotionally must carry the shame fear and many other emotions and the abuser Sean McDarby, walked around our streets a free man for years with free will and faced no consequences for his heinous actions.
“She lived through hell because of him and I’d like to ask the DPP what exactly is your job? Her book is a lonely and sad story because it shows her helplessness.
“While she wasn’t physically locked under the stairs, she was mentally isolated and cut off from her friends, family, community, choices and freewill and he used her body at mind at will.
“The power he took from her was her innocence, her confidence, her friends, her family, her community, her choices in life — but more than any of this, he took from her, her freewill and used both her mind and her body at will.
“Choices I take as normal such as travelling, or to go to college, to choose my profession, to choose a boyfriend, to develop a relationship and choose when to have children, such important choices were all taken away from my mother.’”
‘WE ARE PROUD THAT SHE IS OUR MOTHER’
Sister Ashley added: “He left her to raise five children she didn’t choose to have.”
Mary has now reclaimed her own life after years of personal development, education and therapy.
Daughter Megan, 30, said: “Today she’s a successful psychotherapist, she has incredible compassion, sensitivity and understanding of the needs of others, who have had difficulties in their own lives.
“She is an amazing woman. We are proud that she is our mother. She has also helped her children to come to terms with the reality of their own conception, she knew that trauma not transformed, will be trauma transferred.”
After decades agonising over their mother’s pain and coming to terms with their own identity, two years ago, the girls complained to Ireland’s Child and Family Agency, the Justice Minister and the police. Former Minister Frances Fitzgerald ordered a review of the case and part of that investigation included police in the town of Drogheda requesting reasons why McDarby was never charged.
However, the family have never received any information as to why no charges were brought. The trio say nothing became of that review, but they did meet with police.
Iseult said: “The DPP made the decision not to charge him despite the lengthy statements my mother gave. It’s like it’s all been for nothing and it’s a waste of time.
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“He was a danger to us and society. We do not want this to happen to any other child or woman.
“However if it does the person should be held accountable, unlike Sean McDarby. Instead, he died a free man.”
The Irish police and the Child and Family Agency said they can’t comment on individual cases.
Young Mary Manning with dad Sean outside the family home in Ardee[/caption]
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