In response to Laura Perrins: Rape case that broke the heart of Middle Ireland, Ray Barry wrote:

In respect of what help and advice their fathers gave these young men, it’s important to consider the constraints the state may have placed on their fathers to do so. Around 25 per cent of children have no contact with their fathers.

I was raised from Irish stock with traditional Catholic values. My wife was not. She left me for a married man, taking our three children with her, and later took up with another married man. Both of these men had been serial cheats on their own wives.

The values which my children have been immersed in are those of my wife and these men rather than mine. The state, through its family law regime, ensured I was kept at arm’s length from my children, unable to counter the values they were exposed to.

My children are now grown up and I know nothing about them, where they are or what kind of people they have turned out to be.

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