Sunday 27 May 2018

Maeve Sheehan

Matthew Horan: Jailed for exploiting children online

Inadequate loner stalked victims from his bedroom 

Last Monday night, the windows and front door of a modest terrace house on St John's Crescent in Clondalkin were smashed. It was an unusual act of violence in this quiet corner of the sprawling west Dublin housing estate. People usually keep to themselves and there is rarely any trouble, said one neighbour. But earlier that day, the young man, 26-year-old Matthew Horan, who lived here with his widowed father, had pleaded guilty in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to exploiting children, stalking them on social media, pretending to be their friend, and eventually coercing and...

Mystery: White Strand in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, where Baby John was found. Photo: Mark Condren

What now in the hunt for baby john's killer? 

Three days after he was found on rocks at White Strand, after gardai had done their work and the State pathologist had finished with him, Baby John was buried. It should have been a bleak affair. There was no family to mark the tragic baby's passing. The only people expected to turn up to the graveside at Cahersiveen were a few gardai and the local undertaker, Tom Cournane. Cournane decided that the baby deserved better. He asked his then 15-year-old daughter, Catherine, would she organise a couple of her school friends to come to the funeral. It was Monday, April 16, 1984, a...

Abuse: More than 16,000 messages — many sexually explicit and derogatory of her — were exchanged by Tom Humphries and the girl before he was discovered by his own daughter

How Tom Humphries waited six years to confess to child abuse 

IT was easy to forget that the celebrated sportswriter Tom Humphries took six years to confess to his crimes. At his sentencing in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last Tuesday, he looked resolved to his fate. Humphries, 54, had spent the last three weeks waiting for this day in prison - because he had chosen to go straight to jail rather than apply for bail. It was as though he couldn't get there fast enough. Such was his guilt that he had refused psychiatric help because he wanted to suffer. He wanted to feel the pain.

Stock picture

The true cost of nursing home care in Ireland 

On a recent weekday morning, a group of people gathered for a tour of The Marlay, a gleaming state-of-the-art nursing home just off the M50, close to Rathfarnham in south Dublin. The rooms were bright and airy. The place was buzzing with activity. A couple of residents read the in-house newspapers in the lobby. A group of ladies watched Sammy Davis Jr on TV in the sitting room. In another room, an activities coordinator read the newspaper aloud to her audience. Outside, the sun shone on a flower-filled courtyard.