'IRA man' goes on trial accused of raping two teen boys
An alleged IRA man has gone on trial accused of raping two teenage boys in a republican safe house in the 1990s.
The man (45) has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to charges of sexual assaulting and raping two boys in Co. Louth on dates in the early 1990s and in 2001.
On the opening day of the trial, Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, said in his opening speech to the jury that both complainants in the case lived in a large home owned by a “dedicated republican” and that it began to be used as a safe house.
A man told Mr Gageby that he lived in the house in Louth in the 1980s and 1990s to which IRA volunteers would be brought during the night and stay for a few days or weeks.
He said the accused man first came to stay in the house around 1991 or 1992. The accused became part of the family and that he looked up to him as a "big brother figure".
The man said that the accused began to abuse him when he was 13 or 14 years old. He said he woke up to find the accused sexually assaulting him on six occassions.
He said he would push the accused away from him when he woke up and that the accused would apologise for his actions. He said that after the first occasion the accused asked him not to tell anyone about what happened and talked about his experience in the IRA.
He said that the house had a reputation for being haunted and that on one occasion the accused had claimed to have seen his bed lifting up on its own. The accused was told by the owner of the house to go sleep with the boys if he was really afraid and he slept in the complainant's room with him.
The man said that he went camping with the accused in a nearby field and that he fell asleep in the tent after becoming intoxicated. He woke up to find he was being raped.
He said the accused told him to be quiet and to stay still. He said he felt confused about what was happening aside from that he knew he “was being broken in every way imaginable”.
The man said that in 2001 he was living on his own in another part of Co Louth when the accused arrived to his door.
The accused convinced him to go for some drinks and while out he apologised for the things he had done to him years ago.
He said that they went back to his house and that he remembers sitting on his couch while drunk. He said the next thing he knew he was face down in his bed and he was being sexually assaulted. He said that he did not agree to any of this occurring.
He said that he turned to alcohol in a bad way in the aftermath of these incidents, but said he had been sober for ten years.
The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury.