Photo credit: Tusla

Woman raped in foster home says Tusla apology “fixes nothing”

The head of Tusla has formally apologised to a young woman who was repeatedly raped by her foster father over the span of seven years.

Last Friday, Kelly Kemmy, aged 24, abandoned her right to be anonymous so that she could name her 56-year-old abuser, Stephen Murray.

From the time she was 11 years old to 18, she was raped around 1,000 times, with her attacker sometimes abusing her four times a week at night.

Murray pleaded guilty to 14 counts of rape, 2 counts of oral rape, and one count of sexual assault, for which he was sentenced to 12 years, with the final year suspended. With remission, he will be out of prison in just over nine years.

Kemmy said that she believed she had been let down by the Child and Family Agency Tusla, speaking outside the court room.

This week, Tusla chief Bernard Gloster issued a “a very sincere apology,” adding “We are dreadfully, dreadfully sorry that this happened to her in the care of the State.”

He acknowledged: “I think an apology is never going to be enough, it doesn’t go far enough, but we will have the rest of our discussions with Kelly in private.”

However, Kemmy said she believes Tusla’s apology was “only made because of the publicity my story has received” and that it “fixes nothing.”

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, she said: “Tusla knew I was being raped in care three years ago. I left the Murray house with my sister and brother in 2019 and went straight to the gardai.

“They have known all this time and never apologised to me, not that it would make any difference. The apology doesn’t fix anything; the damage is done.

“I honestly think it took headlines to make them speak and say sorry because they said nothing before now. If I hadn’t lifted my name, they would not have done it. I feel like they had to apologise they had no choice. They have no defence for what happened to me. I was in their care.

“It is nice to see them put their hands up, of course, but it fixes nothing. They can’t defend what happened to me.”

Kemmy said that Tusla “destroyed” her life, and that they “never listed to me and my siblings.”

She concluded by calling for mandatory life sentences for rapists.

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