Insignia on walls of the Central Criminal Court in Dublin Alamy Stock Photo

Cork man to be sentenced next week for the repeated rape and abuse of his granddaughter

A local detective gave evidence that the first incident happened a short period before the girl’s First Holy Communion.

A CORK MAN who sexually assaulted his granddaughter for the first time before her First Holy Communion will be sentenced next week.

The 71-year old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, appeared before Mr Justice Michael McGrath in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday after being found guilty of 28 counts including rape, oral rape and anal rape along with 19 counts of sexual assault against his granddaughter between 2008 and 2012.

A local detective gave evidence that the first incident happened a short period before the girl’s First Holy Communion.

The man had been renovating a shed when he made the girl perform oral sex on him. She was aged between seven and eight at the time.

On other occasions in the following years, the man would take the girl to the shed where he would make her masturbate him and orally rape her.

The detective told the court of another incident where the two were alone in the man’s car when he anally raped her.

On a different date, he took her to his mobile home and attempted to have full penetrative sex with her.

The detective said the man gave the girl money following each incident.

The abuse came to an end when one of the girl’s friends told the girl’s mother on New Year’s Eve, 2012.

It was reported to gardaí in January 2013, but the victim felt unable to proceed with a trial at the time because she was very young.

The matter was taken up again some months later and went to trial in June of this year. The man was found guilty of rape, oral rape, anal rape, and sexual assault.

The man’s children now have no contact with him, and his marriage has broken down.

The now-grown-up granddaughter addressed the court yesterday in a victim impact statement.

She described herself as a “survivor” of the “vicious crimes at the hand of my grandfather”.

The woman said: “I trusted him to protect me and keep me safe but he took advantage by raping me almost daily.”

She told the court her grandfather “dragged me and my family through years of stress, heartbreak and trauma” and that “memories such as Christmas, birthdays and holidays are non-existent”.

She said she had a long healing process ahead of her, but that “knowing that I fought and got the justice that I deserve will make that process easier”.

Mr Justice McGrath thanked her for her statement and told her she was very brave.

Seamus Roche SC, defending, said the man has health issues and that “his age is against him.” He also said the man has “difficulties with alcohol”.

He said the man has had no disciplinary issues while in custody and asked the court to structure his sentence in a way that provided “some possibility of rehabilitation upon his release”.

The man has no previous convictions.

The case was adjourned for finalisation next Tuesday, 5 December.

David O'Sullivan