A WELL-known GAA figure has been sentenced to two years in prison at Ennis Circuit Court today for multiple counts of sexually assaulting two teenage girls.
The offences happened over a number of years in the mid 1990s. They took place in the bedroom of a house in County Limerick and in a motor vehicle, which the defendant owned.
The man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the anonymity of the victims.
Both girls were aged just 13 when the first of the offences happened.
Reading from their victim impact statements, Judge Gerald Keyes said one said: “It has had a profound and damaging effect and continues to do so”.
While the other said the memories continue to haunt her.
Judge Keyes said sexual assault was a very serious offence, that it could not be treated lightly.
“Due to your position you told them they would not be believed if they made a complaint which is a serious breach of trust,” said Judge Keyes.
He added that the accused had only recently shown remorse.
“You now accept what you did was very wrong,” said Judge Keyes.
With regard to mitigating factors, he said the defendant was a prominent person in sporting circles who coached young people and “testimonials speak highly of your work”.
Judge Keyes handed down a two year sentence on each count to be served concurrently.
The man, who is in his late fifties, was led away from the court by prison staff.
His name will be added to the sexual offenders register from today’s date for a period of ten years.