87-year-old Donegal man to be sentenced next week for raping granddaughters

An 87-year-old man who raped and sexually abused five of his granddaughters over a 19-year period will be sentenced next week at the Central Criminal Court.

The man "groomed" each girl in an almost identical fashion. He started off by talking to them about sex when they were around seven, before moving on to molest them "to show them what boys expected" of them.

When the girls were around 11 he started raping them and, with the exception of one victim, this would continue several times a week until their mid-teens.

The Co Donegal man, who cannot be named to protect his victims' identities, pleaded guilty to 45 sample counts of rape, indecent assault, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault at various locations in his rural community between July 1993 and September 2009.

A detective garda stationed in the area told prosecuting counsel Patricia McLaughlin that the abuse emerged after one of the victims detailed what happened during a counselling session, causing the others to come forward.

An incident room was set up in the local garda station and the man was arrested soon after.
When the man was arrested, he admitted some of the incidents in interview but claimed the girls had often initiated the sex.

Victim impact reports were read in court on behalf of the women. They detailed how the abuse ruined their trust in their family and in men. One woman said she had tried to commit suicide several times and abused alcohol and drugs because of the abuse.

Mr Justice Paul Carney adjourned final sentencing until next week and remanded the man in custody until then