Youghal Woman Jailed For Abuse Of Her Step Daughter

Bridget Kenneally was jailed for two years. Cora Desmond, 21, was speaking after 49-year old Bridget Kenneally of Duncorn, Youghal, Co Cork, was jailed for two years.
Ms Desmond described how the abuse started, after her father began a relationship with Bridget Kenneally when she was aged five. “I was force-fed things like salt, vinegar, pepper, mustard, chilli powder – all of that – it was always mixed into my food and there were excessive amounts of it,” Ms Desmond recalls.”The beatings were with anything she could get her hands on, like a wooden spoon, a fire poker, a belt – anything really she could get her hands on.”Ms Desmond says the beatings had a severe impact on her, both physically and psychologically.”I’ve had a broken thumb. I’ve been hospitalised. I spent over a week in hospital back in 2009 because of a head injury due to a beating,” she says.“Psychologically, it’s exhausting to go through it and, even now, to fight on through everything. I’ve been suffering with depression, anxiety, the whole lot since I was young, and it still affects me to this day.”Ms Desmond says Bridget Kenneally blamed her for the abuse, telling her she deserved it and it was her own fault. She said Bridget Kenneally used to call her “Cora Ella”, like Cinderella, because she was not wanted or loved.She eventually approached gardaí in Youghal and made a complaint, after confiding in her mother one day when she was 16 years of age.

She explained that she felt compelled to stay silent up to then because of fear and threats. She says she led a double life for more than a decade to hide the abuse. She says she lied about her injuries.

“As a child no, because I was too scared  Ms Desmond describes her life with Bridget Kenneally as hell on earth.

Ms Desmond describes the four years since she made her complaint until yesterday’s conviction of Bridget Kenneally at the Circuit Criminal on a charge of assault causing harm as a long journey.

Ms Desmond says she thankful to her “amazing” family for helping her to cope with what she has been through.


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