Drogheda Independent

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Man jailed for raping two boys seeks appeal

A man jailed for raping two teenage boys in a "republican safe house", and whose abuse allegedly led to an IRA-convened "kangaroo court", is still seeking an extension of time in which to bring an appeal against his conviction.

Séamus Marley was said to have used his standing in the republican movement, a movement "well capable of clandestine killings", to silence his victims, according to the Central Criminal Court judge who jailed him.

The 45-year-old, with an address at Belfield Court, Stillorgan Road, in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting and anally raping the two boys in Co. Louth on dates in the early 1990s.

He was unanimously found guilty on six counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape by a Central Criminal Court jury, following a six-day trial, and was given concurrent seven year and six year sentences by Mr Justice Paul McDermott on May 2, 2019.

The alleged IRA man has filed for an appeal against his conviction outside of the required 28-day period in which to lodge an appeal. His lawyers are seeking an extension of time in which to bring an appeal so the case can go to full hearing.

However, before his application to extend time was heard in the Court of Appeal last week, Marley's lawyers sought an adjournment.

Counsel for Marley, Michael Bowman SC, said his client had recently changed solicitor and an issue had arisen which couldn't be addressed "at this juncture".

Mr Justice Brian McGovern, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, put the case back two weeks when a new date for hearing is expected to be fixed.

Marley was not in court for the adjournment application.

Prosecuting counsel, Patrick Gageby SC, told the Central Criminal Court jury that Marley's victims lived in a large home owned by a "dedicated republican" and that it began to be used as a "safe house".

The jury heard that IRA volunteers would be brought to the house during the night and stay for a few days or weeks. Marley was one of these guests in the early 1990s and he was welcomed into the family, according to Detective Garda Séamus Nolan.

In his victim impact statement, the younger survivor said they had "quiet neighbours, dead ones" because their house was beside a graveyard. It was "not the dead we should be afraid of, but the living," he added.

He said Marley "preyed on me, groomed me, abused me and raped me". He said the life he had dreamed of was in "tatters" from the moment Marley entered the house.

He said he ended up in hospital and called Councillor Pearse McGeough of Sinn Féin to ask for help, but that after the call he knew he was on his own. He said it had taken longer to reach this point than it should have as "people with power sought to protect their own interests".

The older victim said he had spent the previous 27 years living in despair and looking over his shoulder. He said he had finally reached the end of the tunnel and that his life now revolved around his wife and children.

Gardaí agreed with John Fitzgerald SC, defending, that they had no intelligence that the accused was involved in any paramilitary organisation until the complainants came forward with their allegations and that the accused had never been arrested for any "alleged subversive activities".

Drogheda Independent