It may be over four decades since she became Ireland’s first ever Eurovision winner, but Dana Rosemary Scallon is still one of the country’s most prolific personalities. Whether she’s running for president or fighting abortion, nary a year goes by without the “All Kinds Of Everything” singer hitting the headlines. So it’s hardly surprising that she’s back in the news, although the circumstances are rather more unsavoury this time round.
Sex Abuse Trial
For the past three weeks her brother, Joe Brown, has been on trial, accused of five counts of indecent assault against two teenage girls in the 1970s. Throughout the case, shocking claims were made by both sides – relatives of the alleged victims claimed Dana told them that a priest had cured her brother and God forgave him. Meanwhile, when giving evidence for the defence, the Eurovision winner contended that all the abuse allegations were lies. The case came to a conclusion on Friday, with the jury returning a verdict of not guilty on all counts. Afterwards, Brown commented on how the proceedings had impacted on both him and his sister.
“We are here today because of the initial reporting of this during my sister’s campaign in the presidential elections of Ireland in 2011. Certain newspapers and journalists took a view during that campaign and in reality it was to derail her presidential campaign. The prosecution have put both myself and my sister on trial.”
As Brown alludes to in his statement, the accusations initially arose in 2011, during Dana’s failed presidential run. In fact the nation first became aware of the situation when Dana went off on a rather cryptic tangent in the middle of a live tv debate (see the clip above).
Her brother may have been cleared, but Dana herself is still in bother. The singer’s sister and niece, Susan Stein and Susan Gorrell, have taken a defamation suit against her, following comments she made in another television interview, also in 2011. TV3, who broadcast the offending piece, have already made a settlement with the pair, while their lawyer has confirmed that in spite of the outcome on Friday their action against Dana “will continue”.
In 1970 Dana sang of sunshine and holidays, and postcards to write. We’ve got a feeling she won’t be doing much of that this summer…
Photo: Screengrab via RTÉ