June 2002

Uncle of sex abuser jailed for attacks on same victim

AN UNCLE who sexually abused a niece and another woman was found guilty and sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday.

Edward Ryan (58), Bodherin, Campile, New Ross, Co Wexford, was sentenced to five years in prison for unlawful carnal knowledge of his niece, and three years for sexual abuse. The sentences are to run concurrently with the final two years suspended.

Ryan is an uncle of Simon Murphy, The Hollow, Ramsgrange, who on Wednesday was handed an eight-year prison sentence, two years suspended, for sexual assault and unlawful carnal knowledge his sister, and three other female victims.

In relation to indecent assault on another Wexford woman, now aged 30, he was found guilty and given three years on each of two counts of indecent assault. The sentences are to run consecutively with the earlier sentence.

Ryan had pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of indecent assault on the Wexford woman, who is now married, between September 1, 1981, and October 14, 1985.

Following deliberation of more than three hours, the jury of seven men and five women returned a verdict of guilty on all 16 counts.

Earlier Ryan had entered a plea of guilty to 10 charges, including sexual assault and unlawful carnal knowledge on his niece which began from the age of four.

The defendant who is single, was a regular collector at Masses in his local church, but since the revelations of his years of sexual abuse, he no longer participates in church activities.

The court was told that the sexual assaults on the Wexford woman would take place in a mobile home on his farm when he would pin her arms overhead and assault her.

The woman told the court that the defendant would bring her to the mobile home on his farm when the sexual assaults took place. The assaults, she said, took place between the ages of nine and 13.

She informed her mother of the assaults after he struck her in the stomach.

She described how the defendant would remove her jeans on a number of occasions, lie on top of her and interfere with her.

In evidence Ryan admitted that he indecently assaulted the woman on two occasions in 1987, not on the dates for which he was charged.

“I thought what I was doing was right even though it was wrong. I apologised to her several times about it. If I am guilty of that, I am guilty,” he told the court through tears.

In evidence, the female told the court of losing her childhood at the age of four. From that age she had been the victim of systematic abuse which continued through her childhood.