A Donegal woman has claimed that she was raped in the home of a US embassy official more than 35 years ago after a drug was put into her drink in the embassy bar.
Ailish Nic Phaidín (60) is taking an action against the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the State arising from the alleged handling of matters by the Department of Foreign Affairs following her dismissal or forced resignation from the US embassy in Ballsbridge in 1987.
Ms Nic Phaidín told the High Court this week that while working for the US embassy, she was interrogated for two hours before being told she could be fired or resign. She was later escorted out by a US marine.
During her 11-year employment in the embassy, she claims she was pinned to a wall and assaulted on one occasion. She alleges on another occasion a drug was put into her drink when she was in the basement bar of the embassy and she woke up in the home of an embassy official where, she claims, she was raped.
Ms Nic Phaidín, originally from Rathmullan, but now a PR consultant living in Palm Bay, Florida, claims she sought assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs in the settlement of her employment dispute with the US embassy.
The Minister denies the claims of breach of duty of care and pleads the department acted as an intermediary and attempted to bring her situation to the attention of the embassy. In evidence, Ms Nic Phaidín said she was having a drink in the embassy basement in October 1976 when a man – referred to as Mr Y – put a drug in her drink. She said she awoke in his house in south Dublin and was raped but did not go to the Garda as the man had diplomatic status. She said in a 1985 incident, another man, Mr X, pinned her against a wall in the embassy basement and assaulted her. She said he had said: “I heard all about you.”
She said in February 1987 she was called to the security officer and interrogated on whether she was an IRA or Communist Party member, had visited an eastern bloc country or knew spies or terrorists. She said she was brought to Mr X’s office and told her security clearance had been withdrawn and she could be fired or resign.
The case continues.