Monday 19 March 2018

Athlone rape accused seeks transfer to other prison

The defendant pictured at a previous court appearance at Longford District Court
The defendant pictured at a previous court appearance at Longford District Court

A MAN accused of raping two little girls – aged six and nine – is seeking a transfer to another prison.

The 30-year-old from Athlone, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Harristown District Court earlier today.

He was charged on Monday with two charges of rape against each of the girls, aged 6 and 9, at an address in the midlands town last Saturday.

He had been remanded in custody to Castlerea Prison. Earlier today, he was taken by prison officers from the prison to the adjoining Harristown Court for a scheduled remand appearance.

Wearing a white T-shirt and dark trousers he stood in the area reserved for prisoners and indicated to his solicitor, Gearoid Geraghty, that he wanted to consult with him.

Following a brief consultation, Mr Geraghty advised Judge Geoffrey Browne that his client was seeking a transfer to Clover Hill Prison in Dublin.

“These are the instructions that I’ve just received”, Mr Geraghty told the court.

Judge Browne said he had no jurisdiction in relation to the request. “It’s an internal matter”, he said.

Inspector Aidan Minnock of Athlone applied to have the accused man remanded in custody to appear again at Harristown District Court on October 18.

There was no defence objection and Judge Browne made the remand order.

A large force of gardai had arrived at the court from early yesterday morning.

Members of the Armed Support Unit, armed detectives and uniformed officers were out in force following protests last week outside Athlone courthouse and garda station in the wake of the attacks on the two girls.

Brian McDonald

Irish Independent

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