Moral Panic - Child Sexual Abuse
Cherie Eustace, now 23, was
referred in 1986 by a family doctor to the sexual assault treatment unit at
the Rotunda hospital,
Eustace, who suffers from depression and has received counselling since she was 15, was estranged from her father following the accusations, but has since been reunited with him. She claims that her relationship with him was "destroyed " and that with her mother "greatly affected" by Woods. Her mother Bernadette Eustace is also suing Woods and the state for compensation.
In separate legal proceedings, Woods, the Eastern Health Board and the state are being sued by Hernon, chairman of Vocal Ireland, a support group for parents falsely accused of abusing their children.
Two years ago Woods was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Irish Medical Council.
The council, the governing body for doctors, found her guilty of breaching best diagnostic practice in respect of 13 of a total of 55 allegations relating to five children from three families. Woods, who strongly denied the charges and will defend the new actions vigorously, was regarded as the leading Irish expert in child sexual abuse and helped to draft guidelines adopted by the Department of Health in 1987.
A veteran social campaigner and
mother of eight -- including two sons with Cathal Goulding, a former chief of
staff of the IRA -- Woods was credited with alerting the Irish public to the
prevalence of child sexual abuse and provided
After the Irish Medical Council's finding against her, a group of doctors wrote to the IMC expressing concern at how the investigation had been conducted.