A MAN charged with raping two little girls in Athlone, Co Westmeath, will make his first appearance in the town today since being arrested for the offences last year.
The 30-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in Athlone on September 28 last after it emerged that the girls, aged six and nine, had been raped in a house close to where they were attending a birthday party.
The accused man was taken to Longford District Court on October 1 where a garda sergeant gave evidence of charging the man with twice raping each of the girls.
He was remanded in custody to Castlerea prison where he has been on suicide watch at the request of his solicitor, Gearoid Geraghty.
He has since made a number of remand appearances at Harristown District Court which adjoins the prison.
He was remanded in custody to appear before Athlone District Court today with a view to having his case processed for trial.
Last month an additional rape charge was preferred against the defendant. He now faces three charges of raping one of the little girls and two charges of raping the other.
His solicitor has confirmed that he will be pleading guilty to all charges.
Additional security measures are expected to be in place at Athlone courthouse for his appearance today.