Rape accused trial date gets closer
By Finian Coghlan
A man charged with 173 counts of rape and sexual assault on three children was remanded on continuing bail to appear at Longford District Court on February 19 for service of a book of evidence on that date.
Once this has been served, a date for trial in the Central Criminal Courts of Justice can then be set.
To protect the victims Judge Seamus Hughes banned any reporting of the defendant’s name or address at the accused man’s first appearance in court on November 30, and maintained this ban with each subsequent appearance.
On that date the court heard how the abuse started in 2001, when the youngest child was six years old, and continued until 2010.
The defendant had been in a relationship with the children’s mother, and “the children are now in the care of the health board”.
On his last appearance in court on December 7, Inspector Aidan Minnock said the State had no objection to bail, but sought a personal surety of €5,000 from the defendant.
Solicitor for the accused, Mr Mark Cooney, explained how the defendant’s daughter was in court and willing to take him in, but that as a single mother with no work, she could only raise €500.
The court accepted this, along with €200 from the defendant himself. He was then ordered to reside at a given address, sign on twice weekly at his local Garda station, surrender his passport, have no contact whatsoever with any of the witnesses, and stay out of a neighbouring county.