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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

Father of girl exploited by Matthew Horan doesn't believe paedophile can be rehabilitated

He says that he contacted social network Instagram to alert them to Horan’s actions, but has never received a response.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/

THE FATHER OF one of the victims of Matthew Horan has written a letter to RTÉ’s Liveline in which he said he did not believe the convicted paedophile could be rehabilitated.

Horan (26) used Skype, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik, an anonymous instant messaging application, to send and receive child porn images from six identified child users in Ireland and nine unknown users around the world.

Judge Martin Nolan last week handed down a nine-and-a-half year sentence but suspended the last two years.

The father, who did not wish to appear on air to protect his daughter, said that Horan was “clever and calculating” and “manipulative”.

He says that he contacted social network Instagram to alert them to Horan’s actions, but has never received a response.

Horan, of St John’s Crescent, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to a count each of sexually exploiting two girls within the State on dates between 1 April and 23 November 2014.

The father went on to appeal to those who might be inclined to attack the Horan family home to stop.

The letter in full:

As a parent of one of the children Matthew Horan preyed upon I agree with the caller on Friday that didn’t believe paedophiles can be rehabilitated. He was caught twice more after the first time he was arrested and in my opinion his behaviour was escalating.

As for the autism spectrum defence I don’t accept it, as he was very clever and calculating in how he got his victims to do what he wanted them to do. This is a very manipulative person who knew exactly how to get these children to do what he wanted.

One of the callers came across to me as having more sympathy for him than his victims, I say if this ever happens to anyone you know I wonder would you have the same opinion. I am sure her intentions are in the right place, and many more may agree, but for me sitting here today the enormity of what has happened has only just hit home as I had no intention of speaking out.

My daughter heard you speak on the show and through tears asked me to turn the radio off. I only heard the programme from about twenty past two or so and was not with it when leaving the radio on in the first place.

To those people that are targeting the home of Matthew Horan’s father I urge them to stop this immediately, as they do are not doing any good – certainly not in our name, as this man has not been found guilty of any crime, and must be going through enough turmoil in his brain, as I am today.

I would also like to point out that when I contacted Instagram to let them know what this person was doing they never replied. I read in the Independent that they were doing all they can to help stop this sort of thing. So a huge question needs to be asked as to why they did not reply to me, or at least get in touch with the Gardaí to report this. Is there not a law that states you are obliged to?

I’ve read many times about these things happening to children and now it’s happened to our child. The anger I felt towards what I thought was a 13-year-old boy turned to guilt that I didn’t do enough to protect her from a grown man even though I checked what she was doing online regularly.

To the guards that spoke to me over the last two years I want to say thank you for all you have done, as to catch people like Matthew Horan all this material has to be looked at. This is an incredible thing to have to do and go home to a normal life. RESPECT to all of you for your dedication.

Finally I would like to say how proud we are of our daughter who spoke intimately with specialist guards in the hope that this would help stop him doing it to anybody else which for the next few years at least it will. Sadly there are other Matthew Horans out there and more needs to be done with social media to stop them.

A forensic examination of Horan’s computer uncovered recorded Skype calls between him and two nine year-old-girls, both individually and together. The recordings included footage of these girls engaging in graphic sexual acts.

Horan also took part in sexually explicit text conversations with the girls, during which there would be an exchange of photos.

Read: Dublin man who used Snapchat and Skype to exploit young girls jailed for 9.5 years

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