April 2012

Tipperary man sentenced to 12 years in jail for rape of three family members

A Tipperary man who was described as “an animal” has today been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the rape and sexual abuse of three children.

Seamus O’Neill from Newcastle, Ballynamona pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the charges which date from 1965 to 2000.

The final six years of the 66-year-old’s sentence have been suspended.

O’Neill plead guilty to the rape of Majella, his cousin’s daughter, in 1965, when she was approximately 9 years old. Carrigan spent three weeks in hospital in Clonmel after O’Neill raped her.

O’Neill also pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of his nephew, Pat, in 1984. O’Meara was 11 years of age at the time.

The third complainant is the 18-year-old grandniece of O’Neill, Therese.  In October, 2000, he sexually assaulted her when she was 7 years old.

O’Neill raped Carrigan in Newcastle, Clonmel when he was babysitting her.  Carrigan read out a victim impact report in court last week and stated that, ” I don’t know where to start except as a parent aren’t I supposed to break and soften all the falls for my children, but it is my children who have softened my life and kept the beauty of their love of me to plod on.

“How I remember the three times you came down to my bedroom and over and over you touched me, hurt me all over and put your hand and penis inside me and frightened me by telling me you’d tell my Mam and Dad if I opened my mouth and I never opened my mouth.”

Condon said in her victim impact report that she has had to drop out of school as a result of O’Neill assaulting her when he babysat her in Ballymacarbry, Waterford.

“I have dropped out of school because I can’t concentrate on schoolwork and I can’t do the work and I feel a failure and blame myself sometimes. I wanted him punished years ago, to go to jail, I still want that for what he did to me and others. He caused me so many nightmares, even when I wasn’t asleep he haunted me.”

O’Meara said in his victim impact report that O’Neill’s assault on him had affected many parts of his life.  O’Neill assaulted him as he lay in bed beside him in his mother’s house in Ballinamona, Newcastle, Tipperary.

“I suffered a great deal psychologically as a result of being sexually assaulted by my uncle. My sexual life has been affected throughout my life. Throughout my life, while living at home I would be very uncomfortable in my uncle’s presence and would get very angry and frightened if I was around him. He would approach me as if nothing had ever happened. It would make me physically sick when he would approach me.”

The victims collectively waved their right anonymity so that O’Neill could be identified in the press.