A woman whose father was found guilty of indecent assault against her as a child has chosen to waive her anonymity to speak out about how, despite his conviction, she feels that she is the one who has been punished while he has been able to live his life normally.
Michelle Curran (née McClintock), who was indecently assaulted as a child by her father, Charlie McClintock, believes that the two-year suspended sentence he received was too lenient, and that the lack of publicity at the time, due to her being underage, has enabled him to cover up his estrangement from his daughter and hide his conviction.
Speaking openly to The Impartial Reporter, Michelle talked of her heartache of not only having her “childhood robbed” by her father, but also losing her relationship with her mother, who branded her a liar and left her ostracised from her family.
“The night he was arrested, he admitted it right away, and my mother came in and went to hit me in front of the police.
“She told me to ‘Stop telling lies’,” said Michelle, explaining that her mother chose to stand by her father until the day she died, three years ago on January 13, 2020, adding: “I thought that maybe one day she would say, ‘I do believe you’, but she never did.”
It was only following her mother’s death that Michelle felt that she could speak about her father’s indecent assault, and in August, 2020, she spoke to this newspaper, telling her story anonymously.
However, she hopes that by waiving her anonymity now, she will be able to share the truth of what happened to her as a child.
“A few months ago, I heard claims going round that he wasn’t convicted and that I had told this lie to get out of the family because there was a feud.
“That’s not the issue, and I want to set the record straight,” said Michelle, adding: “I have good friends, and my husband and my children who have stuck by me, and believe me whole-heartedly, but it’s time that these lies were brought out.”
In 1987, at the age of 16, Michelle reported her father, Charlie, to the police.
“I was abused from when I was six until I was 16,” said Michelle, adding that the day before she reported her father, he had “tried it on” with her.
“[The abuse] had stopped at 13, but because I was with Philip [Michelle’s then boyfriend, who is now her husband], he tried it on again, and I told him to get lost.
“I ran out of the house and went and told my friend. She told me I had to tell Philip, or she would.”
After Michelle told Philip, he went with her to the police.
“I went to Lisnaskea Police Station first, and then I was medically examined by my own doctor. The next day I was taken to Belfast.
“From that, I went into foster care, and every turnaround I was taken in for interview on a regular basis.”

Charlie was convicted of indecent assault on May 16, 1988 at Enniskillen Courthouse. He was handed a two-year suspended sentence.
“Once he was convicted, I had no help, no counselling – I just had to get on with it,” said Michelle, who believes that although there was justice, his sentencing was too lenient.
“And because I was underage, it didn’t go into the newspaper, so that’s why the facts have been hidden,” said Michelle, who believes her father’s conviction went under the radar, which allowed him to continue to live his life normally in his local community of Brookeborough.
“It was swept under the carpet, and I was expected to get on with life, but I lost everything that night.
“I have a brother and sister. I don’t have a relationship with them, because they were convinced ‘I’m the liar’,” said Michelle, talking of the pain of being ostracised from her family.
She went on to explain that before Christmas, 2022, her husband rang Charlie to give him an opportunity to set the record straight for his family.
“He said he needed more time. He has no remorse,” claimed Michelle.
By speaking out, Michelle also hopes to encourage others who have been through a similar situation as her. She said: “I don’t want anyone else going through what I have went through – to be made out to be a liar.
“He was convicted in court, but I am still being made out to be a liar. But lies catch up with people.
“I hope I can help maybe one person, or let them know that help is out there.
“Only for the support of my husband, my children and my two great friends, I wouldn’t be here today,” she told this newspaper, adding: “I don’t want sympathy – I just want the truth to catch up with him once and for all.”