Right-to-die campaigner the late Marie Fleming has made sensational claims about the late Senator Paddy McGowan in a book about her early life in Donegal.
In an exclusive extract from her memoir “An Act of Love,” in the Irish and Sunday Independent she tells of how her mother left her family to have an affair with the late Senator Patrick (Paddy) McGowan.
Originally from Lifford, Ms. Fleming, despite her ill health, wrote the revealing and sometimes sensational biography in her last few years which is now being serialised in both the Irish and Sunday Independent.
In the first extract from “An Act of Love” published on Saturday, Ms Fleming wrote about her mother leaving her family in 1969 to have an affair with the Lifford Senator.
The affair became a national scandal in 1970 when Ms Fleming’s father, Mr. Danny Brolly took a civil case against father-of-eight and hotelier Senator McGowan.
The late Senator’s son, Cllr. Patrick McGowan yesterday evening would not comment on the claims. He said it was “in the past” and he wished to make “no comment”.
Ms. Fleming wrote, “Daddy was claiming damages against Senator Patrick McGowan, hotelier, member of Seanad Éireann, father of eight children, from Knock, Ballybofey, County Donegal, for alleged criminal conversation with Danny Brolly’s 34-year-old wife and for enticing her away from his house and society”.
She added, “He (her father) also claimed that on numerous occasions and for considerable periods, (Senator McGowan) unlawfully enticed and procured his wife, against his will, while harbouring and detaining her at Lifford, Dungloe, Bundoran, Rossnowlagh and other places”. Senator McGowan denied the charges at the time.
Ms. Fleming wrote, “I was due to go into the witness box in the afternoon but I really didn’t want to, and had decided I would simply refuse. During the lunchtime break there was news that Senator McGowan wanted to settle outside court. Just two hours later Daddy accepted an offer of £3,800, including costs”.