Tusla official tells court all state services are working to rehouse rapist convicted in Waterford

Tusla official tells court all state services are working to rehouse rapist convicted in Waterford

A Tusla official has told the Central Criminal Court that “all the State services” are working “hand in glove” to assist with the rehousing of a teenager convicted of rape last year.

The 18-year-old was before the court for a review of his suspended sentence for the oral rape of a minor at a place in Waterford on a date in 2018. He was aged 16 and the victim in that case was aged under 15.

At his sentencing in May 2022, the offender, who is entitled to anonymity due to his age, received a five-year prison sentence which was suspended in full for three years on a number of strict conditions.

These included that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Services, continue to engage with therapeutic services, and be of good behaviour.


At a hearing before the Central Criminal Court last December, Detective Inspector Kieran Hanley from the Mayo Divisional Protective Service Unit told Justice Paul McDermott that the teenager has had 12 interactions with gardaí in a Mayo town since moving there, including a number of incidents involving vulnerable teenage girls.

He said that the offender's behaviour was “of great concern”.

At a further hearing on Tuesday, Det Insp Hanley told the court that the offender has been remanded in custody for trial on a charge of sexual assault.

He is also before the District Court for failure to notify gardaí of his address, contrary to provisions of the Sex Offenders Act.


An official from the Probation Service told Justice McDermott that the main issue for the offender was around suitable accommodation, and she said that Waterford County Council was engaging with the Probation Service and was willing to do a housing assessment pending the youth's release.

She said they are willing to meet him in custody, as are officials from settlement and addiction services that operate within the prison service.

These services are normally only available to prisoners serving a sentence, not those on remand awaiting prosecution or sentence.

Justice McDermott made a request to the prison governor that they permit these services to engage with the youth because of his age and particular circumstances.


An official from the Child and Family Agency, also known as Tusla, told the court that “all the State services are working hand in glove” including Mayo and Waterford councils.

“Tusla are working hand in glove and will do whatever they can do. There will be no stone left unturned in relation to this young adult. Everyone is working together in his best interests to try and assist this young man back in the community but obviously he has to engage,” he said.

Justice McDermott said that all of the structures that would be put in place for a “wraparound package” were based on the presumption that the teenager engage with the services.

“A lot of people have attended court today with a view to putting something positive for you,” the judge told the youth, who appeared via video-link from custody. He said that engagement is part of any order imposed by the court.

He adjourned the matter for six weeks for the services to put together a resettlement structure for the offender. He also ordered urine analysis to test the youth for drug use in custody.