Donegal firefighter to be sentenced for abuse of teenage boy

A retired Donegal firefighter has been found guilty by a jury of 31 counts of sexual assault including rape of a boy at various locations across Donegal between September 1995 and September 2000.

59 year old Liam Carr of Ballina, Falcarragh, does not accept the verdicts of the jury following a Central Criminal Court trial in Sligo earlier this year and intends to appeal his conviction

The jury was unable to agree on four further counts.

The victim, a man now aged 39 has described how he was put through four trials and six years of “complete torture” in his quest for justice.

It was the fourth trial to take place after the juries in the first two trials were discharged for legal reasons and the jury in the third trial was unable to agree on a verdict.

In his victim impact statement, which was read out in court by a detective, he said his childhood had been “snatched” from him as a result of the abuse.

He was aged between 13 and 18 when the abuse occurred.

The court heard that Liam Carr befriended the boy and started abusing him in September 1995, when he had just turned 13.

Mr Justice Keane adjourned the case for finalisation on January 17th next year.

Full Report:

A man who was repeatedly sexually abused by a firefighter when he was a boy has described how he was put through four trials and six years of “complete torture” in his quest for justice.

Liam Carr (59) was found guilty by a jury of 31 counts of sexual assault, anal rape and oral rape of the boy in various locations in Donegal between September 1995 and September 2000 following a Central Criminal Court trial in Sligo earlier this year. The jury was unable to agree on four further counts.

It was the fourth trial to take place after the juries in the first two trials were discharged for legal reasons and the jury in the third trial was unable to agree on a verdict.

Carr, with an address in Ballina, Falcarragh, Co Donegal does not accept the verdicts of the jury and intends to appeal his conviction, his defence counsel said. He is a retired firefighter who had reached the rank of station officer before he retired for medical reasons after 34 years in the service, the court heard.

Gerard Clarke SC, prosecuting, said the complainant had given permission for Carr to be named, but wished to preserve his own anonymity.

In his victim impact statement, which was read out in court by the detective in the case, the now 39-year-old man said his childhood had been “snatched” from him as a result of the abuse, and this was something he could never get back. He was aged between 13 and 18 when the abuse occurred.

He said that from when he first went to gardaí in October 2015 to when the jury returned with guilty pleas in October this year, it was “six years of complete torture” for himself and his wife. “We could not get on with our lives because of the length of the court process,” he said.

“Not only was my childhood taken from me, but I am 39 and the majority of my adult life has been spent trying to deal with what happened to me and get justice,” he said.

The man said he had to take the stand four times and outline to strangers the abuse he was subjected to at the hands of Carr. “Forty-two days trying to defend my honour,” he said. “No-one will ever understand what me and (my wife) went through.”

Detective Garda John Gallagher told the court that Carr befriended the boy and started abusing him in September 1995, when he had just turned 13. The abuse began as groping and progressed to oral and anal rape. Carr was 20 years older than his victim.

He has no previous convictions.

Mr O’Higgins said Carr does not accept culpability and intends to appeal. He continues to have the support of his ex-partner of 20 years and a number of friends, the court heard.

Mr O’Higgins said that the fact there were four trials was not a matter that could be blamed on his client.

“No party, no matter what side, leaves unscathed,” he said of the justice process.

“…My client has had a cloud over him for six years. It has taken a large toll on him.”

He noted Carr has led a productive and useful life and is now facing these charges in his older years. He has health issues including high blood pressure and an aneurysm. Mr O’Higgins urged Mr Justice David Keane to extend as much clemency as he could when dealing with this matter.

Mr Justice Keane adjourned the case for finalisation on January 17 next year.

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