Tuesday 20 March 2018

Fears as abuser Byrne released

Victim describes early release as 'ridiculous'

Michael Byrne
Michael Byrne
Cormac Walsh

Deborah Coleman

Convicted Arklow paedophile Michael Byrne has been released from prison after serving three years of an four-year sentence.

Byrne was convicted of the sexual abuse of Cormac Walsh in April 2014 and had the final four years of the sentence suspended.

He was released from Arbour Hill Prison on Friday morning.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service outlined that all prisoners, with the exception of those serving a life sentence are statutorily entitled to 25 per cent remission on their sentence.

Victim Cormac Walsh who was abused by Byrne between the ages of 11 and 15 for a period from 1975 has described the early release as 'ridiculous'.

He also expressed grave concerns if his abuser was to return to live at his home in Templerainey in Arklow.

'I do not believe that he is subject to any post-release supervision and that he is free to come and go as he pleases once he has supplied an address to the Gardaí. I have phoned the school in Templerainey near where his house is to inform them of his release,' Mr Walsh said.

The authorities would not confirm where Byrne intends to reside now that he is released.

Meanwhile, Mr Walsh said that while his abuser is now free to live his life, his 'sentence will last a lifetime'.

'My sentence goes on a lot longer than three years,' he said.

Mr Walsh who runs an accountancy firm in Arklow, also confirmed that he has yet to receive the €200,000 settlement awarded to him in the High Court.

It is understood that court proceedings are ongoing in this matter, and therefore Mr Walsh said he could not comment further.

Wicklow People