A former member of the British Army was convicted of 63 counts of indecent assault at a Naas Circuit Court sitting.
65 year old Noel Ryan, a married man with five children, whose address was given as 2671 Dara Park, Newbridge, can be identified after his three victims Evelyn Poole, Yvonne Murphy and Michelle English, waived their legal right to anonymity.
This meant that reporting restrictions, which normally apply to protectthe identity of the victims, were lifted.
Two of the women Yvonne Murphy (aged 47) and Evelyn Poole (49) are cousins and nieces of the defendant.
The third victim, Michelle English (39), is a childhood friend .
The offences alleged in court date back to 1979 and took place up until1988 at Ballycane, Naas; Dara Park, Newbridge and Pairc Mhuire, Newbridge.
It was alleged there were 35 incidents of indecent assault perpetrated against Michelle English (between 1985 and 1988), 23 against Yvonne Murphy (between 1980 and 1982) and five against Evelyn Poole (between 1979 and 1982).
All of the women lived in the same row of houses at Dara Park, Newbridge.
Garda Wendy Doyle said statements were taken from the victims in March 2010.
Gda Doyle said one of the incidents took place when Evelyn Poole was asked to babysit for an aunt at Pairc Mhuire.
After she put the child to bed, she got into bed and Noel Ryan got into the bed and proceeded to sexaully assault her by placing his hand underneath her undergarments.
She said the abuse came to light when Evelyn Poole spoke to her cousin about it.
Garda Doyle said Ms Murphy is also a niece by marriage to the defendant. She said he sexually assaulted her at Lacken View, Naas on 21 occasions, and at Dara Park, Newb Ridge.
The defendant came into her room in Lacken View and placed his hand on her private part. The abuse went on consistently. Some of the incidents occurred when the defendant would rub up against her and when she got old enough she would push him away.
Garda Doyle told the court Michelle English was the child of a neighbour who played with a daughter of the defendant.
She was sexually assaulted in a shed where he kept pigeons and she gave instances of being assaulted while sitting at a kitchen table with the defendant and his family. In a bedroom he showed her his penis and asked her to rub it.
She said he assaulted her using his tongue.
She complained to her mother and the result of medical examination indicated that she had been sexually assaulted.
The victims came forward in 2010 and the defendant denied the allegations.
The injured parties lived close to each other and the defendant is a father and a grandfather.
In a victim impact statement Yvonne Murphy said she had been treated for depression and has been verbally abused by members of the defendant’s family in public and when she had children with her.
She said she was nine years old when she was assaulted and at 15 moved out of home. She said she could not get dressed up and wore baggy jeans to avoid attracting attention. She also suffered from anxiety.
“It affected every relationship I ever had,” she said, adding she had suffered a relationship breakdown.
Michelle English said in a statement she had suffered severe depression and panic disorder, relying on alcohol to cope. She said she had to meet the defendant every day for 24 years in Dara Park. She was abused when she was 10 year old.
She also said she was verbally abused
“For 24 years I suffered silently and closed in on myself. I did not feel safe in any relationship. In 2010 I began to realise slowly that maybe it wasn’t my fault. It had a major impact on every area of my life.”
Addressing the court, Evelyn Poole said she has suffered from anxiety, nightmares, depression and low self esteem and had tried to kill herself. She said she was so ashamed of what had happened that when she was pregnant she asked her GP if she was likely to abuse her child.
She started to train as an addiction counsellor and psychotherapist .
“I don’t know if it will ever go away; I’m afraid of my own shadow,” she said.
The court heard the defendant was born in Kilkenny and moved inwith his brother in Newbridge.
Judge Gerard Griffin said he had to consider what sentence might have been imposed at the time of the offences, the nature of the offences and the impact of the offences on both the victims and society.
He said the offences were in the mid-range and though the victims might not agree with this, it had to be taken into account that some cases of this kind are worse.
He said the defendant, who worked until 1990 when he went on disability, had demonstrated a serious breach of trust and had stolen the innocence of the victims. He added that the defe n d a nt’s belief that there was a conspiracy between the injured parties to do him down was “groundless”.
Judge Griffin imposed 14 imprisonment terms of one year and 49 terms of six year’s duration .
He suspended the final 18 months of each term for five years after the defendant agreed to be bound to the peace.
All of the terms will run concurrently and will be backdated to April 15, 2016, when he was convicted. He will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.