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Friday 9 December 2016

Our Jimmy Savile - Evil deeds of the 'Cookie Monster'

Published 12/06/2016 | 02:30

'In a disturbing parallel to the case of the BBC's predatory paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile, Cooke used his minor celebrity status to carry out a litany of sexual assaults on girls at his home during the 1970s' Photo: Collins, Dublin
'In a disturbing parallel to the case of the BBC's predatory paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile, Cooke used his minor celebrity status to carry out a litany of sexual assaults on girls at his home during the 1970s' Photo: Collins, Dublin

As the founder of pirate radio station Radio Dublin, Eamon Cooke enjoyed the kind of celebrity afforded to those who chose to kick against convention in 1970s Ireland.

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Operating from a three-bed terraced house on Sarsfield Road in Inchicore, the curly-haired DJ was known and referred to by his listeners in their innocence as 'Captain Cooke'.

However, in a disturbing parallel to the case of the BBC's predatory paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile, Cooke used his minor celebrity status to carry out a litany of sexual assaults on girls at his home during the 1970s.

To his victims, Cooke - who died last week at the age of 79 in a Dublin hospice - was known as the 'Cookie Monster'.

While the nickname is readily associated in the ordinary course of events with the character of the same name in the children's programme, Sesame Street, its use by Cooke's child victims, some of whom were as young as seven, is positively chilling.

Those whom Cooke preyed upon would have to wait for several decades, however, to see anything approaching justice being done.

Following a 16-day trial in 2007, the former radio chief and father of 11 was found guilty at the Central Criminal Court of 42 counts of sexual abuse against two of his victims.

Even as he was being sentenced by Ms Justice Maureen Clark to 10 years, Cooke continued to protest his innocence, claiming the allegations had been made in an attempt to blacken his name.

Those words rang hollow given Cooke's eight previous convictions and the four-year suspended sentence he received for the arson attack he carried out against one of the complainants involved in his 2003 trial.

Sunday Independent

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