Wednesday 13 December 2017

Fury as child sex suspect won't face trial

Brian McDonald

THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has decided -- for the second time in a year -- not to prosecute the main suspect in a child-rape case. The girl's mother said she was "absolutely furious" at the decision.

The DPP had decided in May of last year that he did not have sufficient evidence against the only suspect, a man in his 30s who was a one-time neighbour of the single mother and her daughter.

Their nightmare began at the end of 2006 when the mother discovered that her then 10-year-old daughter had been sexually abused in and around her Galway home over the preceding year. The neighbour was identified as the abuser.

A medical examination established that penetration had occurred. The girl has now made a total of eight statements to gardai about the abuse.

The suspect was arrested three times and questioned by gardai but denied all knowledge of the abuse.


The child wanted her mother to be present when she was interviewed by the HSE child sex abuse team and the mother offered to make all of her garda statements available.

But the HSE team pointed out that the child would have to be interviewed alone by specialist interviewers. The mother said she was advised that the HSE report would be crucial in the event of a prosecution.

The garda file in the case eventually went to the DPP's office in March, 2008. But on May 8 last year, the DPP wrote to the mother to say that there would not be a prosecution.

The mother moved home and campaigned vigorously to have the file re-examined.

Her efforts took on an added urgency when her daughter was approached once again by the former neighbour in a threatening manner, not far from the family's new home.

Both the Children's Minister Barry Andrews and Health Minister Mary Harney have been examining the case.

Late last year, the DPP decided to review the case and asked gardai to re-examine the mother's concerns. But she has now been informed that there will still be no prosecution.

Yesterday she said: "I'm absolutely furious. This case is so serious that it should at least go to trial. Barry Andrews and Mary Harney have told me they are still looking at it."

The Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, is at present finalising her examination of the case.

Irish Independent

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