'He's protected while families have to live with this'
THE local hero who helped catch the child rapist has told of his relief that the sick predator will spend a life sentence behind bars.
The 49-year-old told the Irish Independent he was relieved that the rapist had received two life sentences.
"We were afraid that he would get a much shorter time because of his guilty plea but under the circumstances with the laws we have it's the best we could hope for," he said.
The man said emotions remained heightened in the area with people disgusted that the rapist had been given special protection in prison.
"I'm glad the case has been dealt with so we never have to think about him again but he's been protected this whole time while the families have to live with what he has done.
"He'll be kept away from the rest of the prison and given special treatment when he should be castrated for what he has done," he said.
The publican was among a group of people searching for the girls for more than 20 minutes before they appeared from the rear of the apartment.
He was the first to approach their attacker and detain him after he saw him acting suspiciously in the area.
He said he would have gladly given evidence in a trial had the defendant contested the charges.
"I'm glad for the families that no one had to give evidence. I would have crawled to court on my arms alone if I had to but for them I'm glad it was done with quickly," he said.
He recalled how he spotted the man walking out of the apartment alone carrying a bottle of vodka and a bag of alcohol. He managed to tackle the child attacker to the ground and hold him there until gardai arrived.
"I just happened to be there when it happened," he said. "There was a lot of commotion and I heard the girls screaming. I saw this guy and I knew he didn't fit and he shouldn't be there. He tried to do a runner so I grabbed him.
"He went to take a swing at me with a vodka bottle but I got him to the ground. He was trying to get away but I was able to hold him down – we didn't even realise at that stage just what he had done.
"The father of one of the girls came up and tried to get at him, he was just screaming at him, what had he done to the girls. It was tough," he explained.
The man was later thanked by the families of the two young girls for helping catch their attacker.
"The family thanked me afterwards, the poor dad was in an awful state.
"It was only dawning on us then what had happened and we still hoped it wasn't as bad as what we were hearing. But it was worse," he said.