Donegal rapist fined by court after breaching conditions

May 24, 2023

A convicted rapist from Donegal has been brought to court after breaching the sex offenders’ notification requirements.

The man, who is living in the Letterkenny area, was brought before Monday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court.

The man was arrested at 3.20pm on Monday, May 22, at Letterkenny Garda Station under Section 12 of the Sex Offenders Act, 2001.

He made no reply after arrest or after being cautioned at 3.50pm.

Detective Garda Eoin Watters told the court that he visits the man monthly and previously called on April 17, 2023 when he said there was ‘no issue’.

The court heard that the man now has a partner who resides in Northern Ireland and must notify An Garda Siochana if he goes across the border for a period of seven days or more, as part of notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Act.

The man’s solicitor, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said the matter could be classed as a ‘technical breach’.

“I am not trying to make light of it,” Mr Gallagher said. “He has complied with all other directions. This was inadvertence on his behalf, not deliberate. There was no evidence that he was attempting to evade; he was going to see his partner.”

Detective Garda Watters said he has been monitoring the man for almost five years and this is his first breach.

“This is a wake up call that he has to abide by conditions,” Mr Gallagher said.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said that conditions were in place ‘for a specific reason’.

“I do accept the evidence that this is the first breach, but it can’t be a case of complacency and there must be strict adherence,” Judge Cunningham said.

Mr Gallagher asked Judge Cunningham to consider applying the Probation Act.

However, Judge Cunningham marked a conviction against the man, fining him €100 and allowing six months to pay.

“It’s a lesson hard learned,” Mr Gallagher said.