Father charged with 185 new counts of rape
Mother also faces court over abuse of children
A MAN is now facing almost 200 charges of raping his four daughters.
The 48-year-old father was arrested on Christmas Eve and was initially charged with 12 counts of rape and cruelty and neglect of his children between 1997 and April of last year.
His wife (45) was also arrested and charged with 18 counts of cruelty and neglect of her children.
Neither can be identified for legal reasons. The Co Galway couple have been in custody since December 24.
Yesterday, the man was charged with a further 185 counts of raping three of his daughters. He and his wife appeared at a sitting of Athenry District Court in Co Galway.
A total of 140 of the charges allege he raped one of his daughters between 1991 and 2008. He faces 24 further charges of raping another daughter between 1991 and 1996 and an additional 21 charges of raping a third daughter over the same period.
He had previously been charged with three counts of raping each of the three daughters between 1997 and 2008 and a single count of raping his fourth daughter early last year.
It took garda Marie Hession more than 10 minutes to detail the new charge numbers to Judge Joseph Mangan in court yesterday.
Gda Hession told the judge that the accused man had made no reply to the charges, with the exception of the final one. To this count, he had replied: "I didn't do any of it."
Inspector Sean Colleran applied to have the man remanded in continuing custody, but defence solicitor Sheena McCarthy advised the court that she was applying for bail.
Ms McCarthy told the judge that, when she had applied for bail at a sitting of Ennis District Court on December 29, he had refused her application. An application for bail was due to be heard in the High Court on Friday and this was being opposed by the State.
She called the accused man to give evidence in support of his bail application.
Under oath, he acknowledged that the State had concerns in respect of his address but he said he would agree to reside in one location.
When it was put to them that it was alleged at the Ennis court hearing that he was trying to interfere with witnesses, the accused man said that he would not interfere with any witnesses in the case and no third party would make contact with witnesses either.
Insp Colleran told the court that there was no change in the accused man's circumstances and he repeated objections to bail.
The judge remanded him in custody to appear at Harristown District Court on Friday.
No additional charges were made against the man's wife and she was remanded in custody to appear at Ennis District Court on January 22.