Three sisters who say that their father was like "the Irish Josef Fritzl" have taken a case against the Irish state.
The Irish Sun reports that Ashley, Iseult, and Megan Manning have filed a case in the High Court seeking damages from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and the Attorney General over the treatment they suffered at the hands of their late father Sean McDarby.
The three sisters gave an interview to the same paper in 2019 revealing that they were born as a result of McDarby raping their mother for more than 20 years.
Mary Manning revealed in 2019 that she was held captive by her stepfather Sean McDarby for more than two decades, leading to the birth of five of her children, including Ashely, Iseult, and Megan.
Mary appeared on the Late Late Show in October 2019 and said that McDarby began grooming her shortly after he moved into the family home when she was just 10 years old. She said that she suffered physical and sexual abuse for years and that she first became pregnant at 16.
"My country let me down, my country failed me," Mary said on the Late Late Show, explaining that she only escaped McDarby's clutches when she met her husband Karl.
She said that she reported the abuse to social workers in 1988 and 1994 and that McDarby would have gone to prison if the matter was investigated.
The Manning sisters, who are now in their 30s, have obtained records proving that their mother documented the abuse with social workers.
The sisters told the Sun that they are now seeking answers as to why McDarby was given access to them when they returned to live with their mother after spending time in foster care.
"We have been seeking answers for many years as to why we were knowingly placed back into the home of an extremely abusive predatory man by social workers," Iseult Manning told the Sun.
"Where was their concern and duty of care in protecting us, vulnerable children?"
Iseult said that the three sisters suffer from PTSD, anxiety, fear, and a lack of trust in authority and government agencies as a result of McDarby's continued access to them. She said that it was the state's obligation to ensure the well-being and safety of children in their position.
She said that McDarby tormented the sisters and openly beat and raped their mother in front of them.
McDarby, who died 11 years ago, admitted to Irish police that he fathered six children with Mary Manning, including one miscarriage. He forced Mary to place the body in a bag and subsequently buried the baby in a field in Carlow.
Gardaí prepared a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions, but McDarby was never prosecuted and never spent a day behind bars.
The Carlow native was accused of statutory rape, disposing of a baby's body, physically abusing Mary, and isolating her and her children.
Ashley Manning, the eldest of the Manning sisters, said that she was angry that no one ever stepped in to help her mother. She said that her mother reported the incidents to gardaí, social services, and rape crisis centers but that "nothing was ever done".
"The legal system, the support services, and the HSE are all to blame. This has affected all of us, our mother should have been given some right to justice," Ashley Manning told the Irish Sun.
"Our mother has lived a life of hell and I’ve no idea how she got through it all."
The siblings say that their mother is an "unbelievable person" and that their father was "pure evil".
The Manning sisters refuse to reference McDarby as their father and instead call him the "Irish Josef Fritzl". Fritzl gained notoriety several years ago when it emerged that he had held his daughter Elisabeth captive in an underground cellar for 24 years where he frequently raped and beat her. Elisabeth gave birth to seven of Fritzl's children and the 84-year-old is currently serving a life sentence in Austria.