A. O'H. (Otherwise F.) v P.F.

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Jusitce Barron
Judgment Date01 January 1986
Neutral Citation1986 WJSC-HC 1442
CourtHigh Court
Date01 January 1986

1986 WJSC-HC 1442

THE HIGH COURT

No. 21 M/1985
O'H (A) (ORSE F)v. F
A.O'H (OTHERWISE F)
.V.
F.

Citations:

R (ORSE W) V W UNREP FINLAY 01.02.1980 1980/3/435

S V S UNREP SUPREME 01.07.76 1976/9/1287

Synopsis:

EVIDENCE

Presumption

Impotence - Marriage - Nullity - Wife's vaginismus - Husband becoming unable to perform sexual act - Happy marriage with spouses on affectionate terms - Wife's difficulty overcome - Held that the husband was physically capable of performing sexual act - Held that in the circumstances there was a presumption that the husband was psychologically incapable of consummating the marriage - Decree of nullity granted to petitioner wife - (1985/21 M - Barron J. - 19/12/85) - [1986] ILRM 489

|O'H. v. F.|

MARRIAGE

Consummation

Impotence - Presumption - Wife's vaginismus - Husband becoming unable to perform sexual act - Happy marriage with spouses on affectionate terms - Wife's difficulty overcome - Held that the husband was physically capable of performing sexual act - Held that in the circumstances there was a presumption that the husband was psychologically incapable of consummating the marriage - Decree of nullity granted to petitioner wife - (1985/21 M - Barron J. - 19/12/85) - [1986] ILRM 489

|O'H. v. F.|

1

Judgment of Mr. Jusitce Barrondelivered the 19thday of DECEMBER1985.

2

The parties in this case met while on holiday in Achill when the wife was aged 20 and the husband 22. They were attracted to each other and when they returned to Dublin where they both lived they saw each other regularly, became engaged and were ultimately married on the 17th of October, 1970.

3

The Petitioner was involved in a fall which resulted in some vaginal bleeding when she was a teenager. She was worried that this might affect her ability to have sexual intercourse and to conceive. She sought advice from her General Practitioner who referred her to a specialist. As a result of his advice she was satisfied that she could conceive but had some reservations about her own ability to have easy intercourse. Prior to the marriage, the parties had not engaged in sexual intercourse nor attempted to do so, so that at the date of her marriage the wife had no cause to alter her belief that intercourse might not beeasy.

4

The parties went to Spain for their honeymoon. They arrived late at night and no attempt was made to consummate the marriage on that evening. Some nights later such an attempt was made but was unsuccessful. Although the husbandhad a full erection when he sought to enter the wife she had muscle spasm which physically prevented any penetration at all. No other attempt at sexual intercourse occurred during the honeymoon.

5

On their return to Dublin, the parties lived in their own home. Some months later they made another attempt to have sexual intercourse but with exactly the same results. Although they lived together in a happy relationship for a further 9 years and shared the same bedroom for a further 13 years no further attempt at sexual intercourse occurred.

6

At least until the year 1979 the parties indulged in physical intimacies falling short of any atttempt at intercourse. They recognised that they had a problem and the husband sought to help his wife by taking the attitude, we will work it out. Nevertheless, he did little to try to work it out. At his wife's suggestion he bought books on the subject, but showed little interest in reading them. The wife had no one in whom she could confide and the matter drifted.

7

In the year 1973 they left Dublin and went to live in a county town so that they would have more time together. Their problem remained unsolved. In 1977 at the wife's suggestion they went to a Retreat organised by Marriage Encounter They discussed their problem with the Priest who organised the Retreat and received advice that time would solve their problem. The wife subsequently bought further books. She read that a lubricating jelly might solve her problem and bought this. When they went on holiday, she brought the books and jelly with her. When her husband saw them, hesaid that she was putting him under pressure and that she was getting him at a bad time. No use was made of the jelly.

8

In April 1979 the wife sought help from the Family Planning Clinic in Dublin. Her problem was diagnosed as an inability to relax and she was advised to carry out certain physical acts with a view to being able to achieve adequate relaxation to enable her to have intercourse. She was also advised that her husband should also participate as this would...

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