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Man accused of raping 13-year-old girl in churchyard sent forward for trial

The accused made no reply when charged yesterday at Ennis Courthouse.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A 35-YEAR-OLD man charged with raping a then-13-year-old girl in church grounds in west Clare six years ago was today returned for trial.

At Ennis District Court, the west Clare man appeared charged with rape contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law Rape (Amendment) Act.

In the case, the accused – who cannot be named for legal reasons – is charged with raping the 13-year-old in the grounds of a named church in west Clare on a date between 4 June 2010 and 17 August 2011.

Inspector Tom Kennedy told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed that the case go forward to the Central Criminal Court.

The man was aged 29 at the time of the alleged offence. The penalty on conviction for rape in the Central Criminal Court is a sentence of up to life in prison.

Giving evidence of the arrest, charge and caution of the accused in court today, Detective Garda Donal Corkery said the accused made no reply when charged yesterday at Ennis Courthouse.

Detective Corkery also stated that he served the Book of Evidence on the accused’s solicitor in the case today and Inspector Kennedy said that the accused man could be sent forward to the Central Criminal Court.

Solicitor for the accused, Tara Godfrey, made a legal aid application for a senior counsel, a junior counsel and herself to represent the accused at the Central Criminal Court.

Judge Patrick Durcan granted the application.

In court, Judge Durcan gave the accused an alibi warning stating that if an alibi is to form part of his defence he must inform the local State Solicitor’s office of the alibi within 14 days.

Judge Durcan remanded the man in custody and sent him forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court.

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Gordon Deegan

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