A Carlow man who sexually abused four children, including three of his nieces, has been jailed for eight years.
The man (69), who cannot be named for legal reasons, twice raped one of his nieces, once as a child and once when she was in her 20s, after having repeatedly indecently assaulted her in the preceding years.
The Central Criminal Court heard that the man also indecently assaulted three further children during a similar period of time, two of whom were also his nieces.
Following a trial which concluded in June 2021, the man was convicted by a jury of two counts of rape of his niece at locations within the State on unknown dates between July 1st, 1977 and August 31st, 1977, and between April 1st, 1986, June 30th, 1986.
The man was also convicted of seven counts of indecent assault against the same victim on dates between July 1st, 1971 and September 30th, 1974.
He was convicted of three further counts of indecent assault, each of which was committed against a different woman who was a child at the time of the offence, which occurred on dates unknown between March 20, 1982 and March 20, 1985, between May 1, 1985 and September 30, 1986, and between September 30, 1972 and September 29, 1974.
The man had pleaded not guilty to all of these offences. He has six previous convictions, including convictions for indecent exposure and larceny.
Passing sentence on Wednesday, Mr Justice Michael McGrath said that except for one of the rape offences, all of the offences were committed against children who found themselves alone with the accused man.
Justice McGrath said the victim impact statements speak for themselves and the court is satisfied these display that a great harm was caused to the victims. He said it was clear all have suffered a very distressing time.
He said the accused was a married man who has children and grandchildren. He said the accused's counsel has submitted his client has suffered from depression.
Justice McGrath said the man's culpability is high and he has occasioned great harm. He said the offences were perpetrated when the victims were young, vulnerable and isolated.
In one incident he raped a victim in 1977 when he walked her up to a field and then got on top of her on the ground. The victim described this as being a bit like being knocked over by a bus.
The man raped the child who had blood running down her leg afterwards. He gave her a tissue, but he did not say anything.
The second rape occurred in 1986 when the victim was in her 20s. She had travelled to visit an aunt who was ill and the accused offered to drive her to see her aunt.
They stopped in a hotel for lunch on the way and the victim was feeling under the weather. The man then brought her upstairs to a bedroom where he raped her at the foot of the bed.
There was no conversation following this and they got back into the car in order to visit the hospital where her aunt was.
The court heard that a second niece of the accused man was on one occasion in a car with the man when he pulled into a yard, saying he needed to check something and telling her to come with him as it would be safer than waiting in the car.
The court heard that the accused man's defence regarding all of the offences for which he has now been convicted was that the events, as described by the victims, did not occur.