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Tag Archives: Ennis Circuit Court

‘Predator’ sexually abused young Clare girls over four decades

A CLARE man who repeatedly abused young girls over a 42-year period was a “predator” and “wolf in sheep’s clothing” a court has heard. Ennis circuit court has heard harrowing details of the abuse carried out by the 68-year-old man against four girls at locations in Clare between 1976 and 2018. He was sent forward for trial on two books of evidence comprising 203 charges of indecent and sexual assault. He pleaded guilty to a total of 53 sample counts concerning three girls between 1976 and 2004. The man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the victims, also admitted one further count of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in the summer of 2018. Detective Garda Conor Flaherty of the Clare garda division’s protective services unit (PSU) told the court the abuse came to light in July 2019 when a mother of one of the victims confronted the man at a family funeral. Detective Flaherty told the court …

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Man avoids jail with pledge of €20k compensation for knife victim

AN Ennis man who slashed his victim across the face with a kitchen knife leaving him with a 20cm wound has walked free from court. At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan imposed a suspended three-year sentence on William McDonagh (31) for the assault causing harm of Wayne Higgins (25) in February 2019 in Ennis. Judge O’Callaghan said that he was “somewhat reluctantly” suspending the three year jail term on Mr McDonagh on condition that he pay €20,000 compensation to Mr Higgins. The judge said that Mr McDonagh “will work for his victim for the next three years”, adding “It is a substantial payment.” Mr McDonagh had €2,500 in court for Mr Higgins and Judge O’Callaghan has ordered Mr McDonagh to pay the remainder in three tranches of €6,000, €6,000 and €5,500 over the next three years. Judge O’Callaghan said that Mr McDonagh’s actions in injuring Mr Higgins “were nothing short of appalling”. He said, “It could easily have resulted …

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Clare farmer, 73, credits fitness for surviving ‘raging bull’ fight

A 73-year-old west Clare farmer credits his fitness and his time in the boxing ring to surviving being caught up in a “raging bull fight” at Kilrush mart seven years ago. At Ennis Circuit Court, James Vincent Fitzpatrick told the court that but only for being “very fit” and his time in the boxing ring “I was a dead man”. He said: “I don’t think anyone else would have gotten out of it alive. Only for I am the type of the man who would not give in – you have to kill me before I die.” During his personal injury action against Clare Marts Limited And Clare Co-Operative Marts Limited, Mr Fitzpatrick broke down in the witness box as he recounted the bull fight at the loading area at Kilrush mart on October 7 2015 during which he sustained a ‘crush’ injury to his right leg. A farmer and a cattle hauler from Burrane, Killimer, Mr Fitzpatrick described how …

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Judge deems woman making compensation claim was not in crashed car but will still allow case to proceed

A judge has rejected an application that he throw out a €60,000 personal injury action by a Co Clare mother before evidence is heard in the case. At Ennis Circuit Court, Jack Nicholas BL made the application to Judge Colin Daly after the judge found that Caroline Sherlock of Carrowgar, Lahinch was not in a car with her family when it crashed into a car being driven by Gaelscoil principal, Deirdre Ui Mhaile at Moy outside Lahinch in 2014. Ms Sherlock has made a personal injury claim against Ms Ui Mhaile arising from the accident and Judge Daly made the finding, that on the balance of probabilities, Ms Sherlock wasn’t in the car at the time when throwing out her husband, John Sherlock’s own €60,000 personal injury claim against Ms Ui Mhaile from the accident. Ms Sherlock was a witness in that case where she was adamant that she was in the car and Judge Daly dismissed John Sherlock’s action …

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Jail for Clare woman who posed as escort to rob man of €300

A CLARE woman armed with an air gun and posing as an escort robbed a man in Ennis after falsely claiming she was a garda, a court has heard. Clara Chapman (27) carried out the robbery of €300 during the incident that occurred in a residential area of the town in November 2019. Chapman, with a former address at Church View apartments, Main Street, Miltown Malbay and with previous addresses in Ennis, pleaded guilty to a single count of robbery. At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Eoin Garavan sentenced Chapman to two and a half years in prison, saying the offence “warrants a custodial sentence, clearly”. The judge described the robbery, which occurred around 2pm, as a “nasty, planned and ruthlessly executed crime”. In evidence, detective garda Niamh O’Malley said that on November 21, 2019 a 36-year-old man contacted Chapman after viewing her profile on the Locanto website. Det O’Malley said the man was looking at adverts for “young Irish escorts” …

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Major player in Clare drugs trade gets 12-year sentence

A “MAJOR PLAYER” and man at the “top” of the Clare drugs trade is this week beginning a 12-year prison sentence, writes Ronan Judge. At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan said Tony McInerney (25) “is at the top of the pyramid in the good county of Clare and no doubt further afield”. McInerney, a father of two with a former address at Glenina, Gort Road, Ennis and originally from Dublin, emerged in recent years as a major figure in the Clare drugs trade and became an “operational target” for gardaí, the court heard. Judge O’Callaghan imposed sentences totalling 14 years for drugs and proceeds of crime offences and suspended the final two years The sentence is one of the longest handed down by the courts in Clare in recent years. The judge said the drug “pandemic” in Ireland “has long pre-dated Covid”. He said the court has “absolutely no doubt whatsoever” that the activities of the accused have done …

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Sex offender on lockdown in France

A JUDGE has rejected a proposal that a sex offender not be present for his sentencing hearing and view proceedings via FaceTime, Zoom or some other ‘virtual’ means from his current home in France. At Ennis Circuit Court on today (Thursday), Judge Gerald Keys stated that it would be “grossly unfair” to the man’s victim if he wasn’t present for the sentencing. The 22-year-old Clare man sexually assaulted the girl after the two made contact through Snapchat and he has failed to turn up for his sentencing as he is on Covid-19 lockdown in France. Travel restrictions in France concerning Covid-19 have meant that the man has been unable to fly back to Ireland. At the court in February, the teenage complainant said she wanted justice for the sexual abuse perpetrated on her by a “vile creature” when she was aged 12. The teenager, now 17, stated that her life has only gone downhill since the accused “abused me at …

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Child cruelty victim ‘thought about killing’ mother

A VICTIM of child cruelty told Ennis Circuit Criminal Court this week that he “often thought about killing his mother”, such was the level of violence in the home. The victim, who is now in his 20s but was aged between 12 and 17 during the period of abuse, described his life as “a living hell” and says he will “never be able to fully get over the horrible things” his mother put him through. The young man made a disclosure to his school and gardaí when he was 17, detailing cruelty against himself and his three younger siblings between 2012 and 2015. He described being beaten with a boat paddle until it broke, being whipped with an electrical cable and being forced to do a handstand while his broken arm was in a cast. He said he needed to watch You Tube videos to learn how to remove the cast because his mother would not take him to follow-up …

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