Limerick abuse victims urged to come forward

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

RAPE Crisis Mid West is urging victims of sexual abuse to come forward and report what happened- no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

RAPE Crisis Mid West is urging victims of sexual abuse to come forward and report what happened- no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

The comments were made after a former garda and scout leader was sentenced to six months imprisonment for abusing young boys in the 1960s.

John (Jack) Dunne, aged 82, of Cannon Breen Park, Thomondgate pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault on unknown dates between 1963 and 1969.

The charges related to four named individuals, who are all now aged in their 50s.

Dunne, who was formerly attached to Pearse Street garda station in Dublin, indecently assaulted two of his victims at the garda station where he worked as a juvenile liaison officer.

The other indecent assaults took place at scout camps in Dublin and Waterford, and in his car after he dropped the boys home from scout meetings.

Speaking outside Limerick Circuit Court after the sentencing hearing, Annette Strachan - a volunteer with Rape Crisis Mid West - said it is never too late for abuse victims to come forward.

“I would say (to victims) come forward. The more people who come forward and tell the truth and tell what happened, the more important it is for others. There are so many people that don’t come forward and people like these (the victims of John Dunne) make it easier for other people to come forward so do contact you local rape crisis centre or whoever you think can help you,” said Annette, who added that just because the abuse may be historic, doesn’t mean the suffering has eased.

“Time has nothing to do with it seriously, something can crop up 20 or 30 years down the line. It can be a smell, it can be anything at all and you are back there where it happened again so time doesn’t make any difference.”

Annette added that the sentence imposed on John Dunne is a message to abusers that just because they are old doesn’t mean they should not be punished for what they have done.