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Child rapist loses appeal

THE Court of Criminal Appeal has dismissed a former postman's appeal against the severity of the 20-year sentence he received for raping two sisters and sexually abusing another sister.

Yesterday the three-judge court held that the sentence imposed on Michael Farrell jnr (50), who had argued that his sentence was too much and disproportionate, was appropriate.

In 2003 Farrell, formerly of Davin Park, Mountmellick, Co Laois, and Cromwellsfort House, Wexford, was convicted at the Central Criminal Court on 11 charges of rape and 20 charges of indecent assault involving the three sisters who were aged between four and 14 years at the time.

The offences occurred on dates between 1975 and 1984.

After he was jailed the victims requested that Farrell, who was 15 years old when the abuse started, be identified.

Farrell had denied the charges against him.

Protesters end church sit-in

parishioners have ended a 16-hour sit-in at a Catholic church that is closing after police told them they would be trespassing if they did not leave.

The protesters staged a vigil at the 106-year-old St Emeric Church near downtown Cleveland.

The historic Hungarian church is the last of 50 parishes to be closed by the local diocese.

Relatives sue killer warlord

A jailed Colombian warlord is being sued in Miami by the relatives of two people allegedly killed by his paramilitary forces.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the lawsuit against Carlos Mario Jimenez was filed in the US federal court. The plaintiffs are seeking damages from the warlord's assets, which were seized in 2008. Jimenez is jailed in Miami, awaiting trial on drug trafficking charges.