'I gave the guilt and shame back to him' - Rape survivor Ciara Mangan speaks out

"There's been a big, huge weight lifted off my chest - I don't have anything hanging over me anymore"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.56 27 Jul 2023

Share this article

'I gave the guilt and shame ba...

'I gave the guilt and shame back to him' - Rape survivor Ciara Mangan speaks out

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.56 27 Jul 2023

Share this article

A rape survivor who waived her right to anonymity after her attacker was jailed last week says she hopes her courage will help others come forward.

Ciara Mangan was raped at a house party in Castlebar on May 11th, 2013.

Shane Noonan, of Castlehill Park, Turlough Road in Castlebar, pleaded guilty to the rape earlier this year and last week, was jailed for seven years.


Ms Mangan told Lunchtime Live she now feels much safer.

"There's been a big, huge weight lifted off my chest - I don't have anything hanging over me anymore," she said.

"No more court dates or anything and I just kind of get on with my life now.

"I feel a lot safer now that he's in prison, and just brighter days ahead".

'Transfer the shame'

Ms Mangan explained why she decided to waive her anonymity.

"It's important to name your attacker, to transfer the shame on to them and the guilt back to them for what they did to you," she said.

"There's another side of it where you want to put a face out there for other victims, just to show them that 'I'm not ashamed'.

"This is not your fault, and I hope that maybe my courage by doing that helps someone else to also come forward.

"They don't have to waive their right to anonymity at all... but I just hope that maybe I have shown that I transferred and gave the guilt and the shame back to him".

She said another girl she knows has reported her case to the Gardaí since she waived her anonymity.

May 2013

Describing herself as a "normal teenager" who went out with friends and worked a part-time job in McDonald's, Ms Mangan said her life changed on May 11th, 2013.

She said she reluctantly attended a house party with a work colleague.

"I didn't really feel comfortable going at all, I was afraid that I wouldn't know many people there, other than people at work" she said.

"I wouldn't classify them as friends yet."

Ms Mangan said she started to feel strange soon after arriving to the party.

"Within an hour, my drink was spiked and I started falling asleep standing up,” she said.

"Shane Noonan was kind of stalking me from across the room, he had stayed in the same spot the whole time and just kept watching me.

"I thought it was strange but I didn't feel like it was very out of the norm for him, to be honest, because he wasn't really a nice person.

"Then when I really started falling asleep, getting very disorientated, he came over to me and he just demanded that we go upstairs.

"He was in my face and in my ear when I said no; he was saying, in an aggressive manner so that maybe nobody else could see.

"He was demanding that we go upstairs and I was really scared about that, so I did".

'I couldn't defend myself'

Ms Mangan said she went into "shock mode" as some kind of protective mechanism.

"When I was upstairs on the bathroom floor, I fell asleep... I woke up to the force of him raping me," she said.

"I went into freeze - or whatever - mode.

"The drug that was given to me, it just knocked me out, I couldn't defend myself.

"I had no energy, no strength, nothing - I couldn't even speak".

Ms Mangan said she woke up in another room several hours later.

"I was waking up scared, confused, trying to piece together everything – but I knew something terrible had happened," she said.

"Then I got a lift back to my house because I was working at 10am the next morning".

'Everyone knew'

Ms Mangan said she was probably "in disbelief" about what had happened.

"I think it's trauma, shock, I just got on with it," she said.

She said all her work colleagues knew what had happened.

"Everyone knew I had been raped the night before," she said.

"It was really funny for everybody, it was the craic of the day, and he kept his head down the whole day - which was also really out of the ordinary for him too".

Last weekend, McDonald's confirmed that it was investigating Ms Mangan’s claim she was subjected to "rape taunts" at work.

The company's CEO in Ireland and the UK said he was "deeply appalled by these new allegations" and pledged to "investigate them to our fullest extent".

'Don't need to fight anymore'

Ms Mangan subsequently told her parents and a report was made to the Gardaí.

She said counselling and medication have really helped her.

"The Rape Crisis Centre really saved my life, to be honest," she said.

"Psychologists and medication - I don't know if I'll be on medication forever, but I would like to maybe come off at some stage.

"I have to just be careful that my mental health will be supported through therapy before I would consider doing that".

She said she now feels "vindication" after the trial.

"You feel like you are always going to be fighting his word against your word," she said.

"Just to pass that final line, where you don't need to fight anymore, it's just such a relief.

"You can't even describe how much lighter you feel," she added.

Listen back here:

If you or someone you know is impacted by any of the content in this article you can contact the National 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline on 1800 77 8888.

Main image: Ciara Mangan. Picture: Supplied

Share this article

Read more about

Anonymity Castlebar Ciara Mangan Jail Sentence Lunchtime Live Mayo Rape Shane Noonan Trial

Most Popular