87 year old man jailed for raping five granddaughters

An 87-year-old Donegal man who raped and sexually abused five of his granddaughters over a 19 year period has been sentenced to 15 years at the Central Criminal Court.

The heard that the man methodically “groomed” each of the girls, starting when they were around 7. He committed his final rape last year when he was 86.

The 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.

Mr Justice Paul Carney declared the man a sex offender and sentenced him to five years for indecent and sexual assault, to run concurrent to the 15 years.

Mr Justice Carney suspended the final three years of the sentence and remarked that the sentence would “not be expiring until the man is well into his hundreds.”

A detective garda stationed in the area told prosecuting counsel, Ms Patricia McLaughlin BL, 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.

Defence counsel, Mr Peter Finlay SC,  accepted they were “monstrous and evil acts” but offered his client’s apologies and submitted that any lengthy sentence imposed would likely be a life sentence due to the man’s age.