Convicted Limerick sex abuser hasn’t ‘paid a penny’ of €200k owed to his victim

Donal O'Regan

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Donal O'Regan

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donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Convicted Limerick sex abuser hasn’t ‘paid a penny’ of €200k owed to his victim

A LIMERICK man who sexually assaulted a boy has not “paid a penny” of €200,000 he owes the victim in damages, the court heard.

Cian McCarthy, aged 22, was just seven-years-old when he was first abused by his neighbour, Pat O’Brien, of Tankardstown, Kilmallock. O'Brien pleaded guilty in 2008 at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to six counts of sexual assault.

In evidence, Mr McCarthy said O'Brien would come up behind him and would kiss and fondle him. O’Brien was sentenced to three years in prison.

In 2017, McCarthy sued O'Brien in the High Court for assault and trespass to the person on different dates between 2004 and 2006. He was awarded €200,000.

In Kilmallock Court last month, there was an instalment order application by Mr McCarthy against O’Brien in respect of the €200,000.

Marie Ford, solicitor for McCarthy, said O’Brien, aged 69, had “not paid a penny” and questioned him on a statement of means that he had filed.

O’Brien’s solicitor, Bill O’Donnell said his client had filed a “very honest statement of means”.

Ms Ford said the figures show he has a surplus of €50 every week.

“Some weeks I might and some weeks I won’t. I’ve had to pay €160 in and out to the Regional Hospital for an angiogram. I had to pay €95 each way to Nenagh Hospital to get my cataracts done. I’m very much in the red,” said O’Brien.

Ms Ford asked about €20,000 he has in a Kilmallock Credit Union account.

O’Brien said he received €19,000 from a car accident and that money will be used to pay legal fees from the High Court case.

Mr O’Donnell told Judge Marian O’Leary that O’Brien’s legal costs haven’t been taxed yet.

The court heard that O’Brien has €1,458.82 in an AIB account.

“My old age pension and a €120 pension per month from the UK when I worked there,” said O’Brien.

He said all he has is his house and his car - a 2011 Toyota Avensis valued at €4,200.

Ms Ford asked O’Brien is there a for sale sign outside the house.

“My house was up for sale while I was in prison. I served three years. I thought that was the end of it. I can’t make people buy it. There are five houses on my road. I am putting it on the market,” said O’Brien. His house is valued at €125,000,

Ms Ford asked: “Are you willing to pay monthly instalments?”

“I will pay when I sell my house,” said O’Brien.

“You need to start paying now,” said Ms Ford.

“Where am I going to get it? How am I going to live?” replied O’Brien.

Ms Ford said O’Brien has shown “no regard” for the High Court order.

“A for sale sign needs to go up,” said Ms Ford, who made an application for an instalment order of €300 a month.

Judge O’Leary said O’Brien has “uncertainty” because he has a bill of costs coming.

The judge ordered O’Brien pay €100 a month of the €200,000 he owes Mr McCarthy.