'Do not be afraid to come forward'

JOHN Honan's victims welcomed Thurdsay's verdict saying that, in light of their experience of the justice system, all survivors of abuse who have yet to make official complaints to gardaí should come forward.

One of Honan's male victims said he and his fellow survivors welcomed the sentence imposed by Judge Ray Fullam.

"We're very happy with the outcome of the case. The only thing was that he showed no remorse, but at the end of it all we can at least now carry on with our lives and I say that on behalf of all of us. There is a sense of closure."

He praised the State and judiciary. "We would like to thank everyone involved in prosecuting this case, from the courts to gardaí. Detective Garda Paul Walsh did a fantastic job, as did the prosecution team of Ed O'Sullivan and Tom Rice."

Their families played a massive supporting role, he added in heartfelt tribute to the presence of the survivors' partners at their side through the ordeal of the trial.

His loudest message was reserved for the many other victims of abuse out there who are yet to make official complaints.

"Anyone out there who has ever been abused should come forward in the light of this result today. There's nothing to be scared of and at the end of the day they will get justice."

Ultimately, the four were not beaten by the experience of fighting an apparently unrepentant abuser in a public court battle.

"We feel stronger as a result of having gone through all of this and at least now we can, and are, getting on with our lives."