Monday 21 August 2017

'I'm safe at last, now that my rapist is jailed' - young woman attacked in hotel meeting room

Dominique Meehan who was raped at a gaming convention in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown Picture: Tony Gavin
Dominique Meehan who was raped at a gaming convention in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown Picture: Tony Gavin
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A young woman who was tied up and raped in a hotel meeting room says she bravely waived her anonymity to expose what her attacker did and to warn others.

Dominique Meehan (24), from Co Donegal, is "delighted" the man who attacked her is in custody after he pleaded guilty to raping her while she was preparing for a presentation at a gaming convention in a West Dublin hotel.

"I had fears that he could corner me while he was out on bail. But now that I know he is behind bars I can feel safe again," she said.

"I felt I had to expose what he did because there are still a lot of people in the gaming world who follow him on Facebook and I wanted them to know who he is so that they could be safe."

Keith Hearne, from Allenton Drive, Tallaght, Dublin 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, one count of oral rape and one count of falsely imprisoning Ms Meehan at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown on July 4, 2015.

He has now been placed in custody until his sentencing date later this year.

Keith Hearne
Keith Hearne

Ms Meehan was attacked as she prepared for a presentation during a busy gaming convention called ArcadeCon.

She did not know Hearne, but had recognised him from a previous convention she had attended.

The Central Criminal Court heard how Hearne bound Ms Meehan's hands with his tie and raped her. When she screamed he told her he had a knife in his bag and would use it if she wasn't quiet.

"He told me he had a weapon. In my mind it was pre-meditated, especially when you take what was in the bag into consideration," Ms Meehan told the Irish Independent.

The attack stopped only when another conference worker entered the room using a hotel key card. Gardaí were called and Hearne was arrested at the scene.

Ms Meehan told the court how she woke up every night crying for months after the attack, "thinking he had come back to finish the job".

She added that she is gay, and as such feels that more was taken from her in the attack. Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy adjourned Hearne's sentence hearing to June 19.

Irish Independent

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