Man convicted of raping boys at 'IRA safe house'
A jury has found an alleged IRA member guilty of raping two teenage boys at a "republican safe house" two decades ago.
The man (45) had 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 sixth day of the trial, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on a total of six counts of sexual assault and two counts of anal rape relating to the two complainants.
The jury also returned verdicts of not guilty on one count of sexual assault and of anal rape relating to one of the complainants alleged to have occurred in 2001 when the complainant was aged in his 20s.
During the trial, Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, told the jury that the two complainants lived in a large home owned by a "dedicated republican" and that it began to be used as a "safe house".
The first complainant testified that he lived in the house in Louth, in the 1980s and 1990s, where 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.
He became part of the family and the complainant said he looked up to him as a "big brother figure".
He said that the accused began to abuse him when he was 13 or 14 years old.
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 his head pushed down and the accused raping him, he said.
He rejected what was put to him by John Fitzgerald SC, defending, that he had been in a relationship with the accused and had engaged in consensual sexual activity on the night in 2001 he alleged he was raped a second time. He was aged in his 20s by this time.
The second complainant testified that the house he lived in as a teenager was used to house people on their way to "missions" across the Border.
He said on the night he turned 17 he went camping with his older brother and the accused. He said he woke up to discover the accused groping him.
The man said a couple of weeks later he woke up one night to find the accused pushing his face into the pillow and raping him.
He said he struggled and managed to get the accused off him after 30 seconds.
He said that when he tried to leave the room, the accused stopped him and said that if he told anyone of what had happened then he would be "found on a Border road".
The complainant said that when it came to "that organisation", there was no way to take that other than as a threat.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott remanded the accused in custody and adjourned sentencing to April 29.