A very Brave, young Woman, now, Who Gives Hope to other Women, to come Forward??

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Westmeath man Cian Farrelly (30) jailed for three years for rape and sexual assault of his sister as a child

29th June 2022

A professional musician has been jailed for three years for the rape and sexual assault of his sister which began when she was six years old.

His sister Aoife Farrelly (21) waived her anonymity so he could be named.

In sentencing Cian Farrelly (30), of Kells Road, Oldcastle, Co Meath but originally from Ballymanus, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath, Justice Paul McDermott said he had “destroyed” his sister Aoife Farrelly’s life.

The abuse took place between December 2007 and May 2009, when she was aged between six and eight years old.

Ms Farrelly waived her anonymity in the hope by doing so she would give courage to other victims of abuse and deter offenders like her brother from committing crimes against children.

Speaking outside court Aoife Farrelly said her brother had silenced her for too long and she wanted other victims of such abuse to see her face and be inspired to come forward.

The court heard that Farrelly was eight years older than his sister Aoife and she was often left in his care as the family were deeply involved in sport and music.

Cian Farrelly raped her and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions between 2007 and 2009 when he aged between 15 and 17.

In 2009, Aoife, then aged eight, informed her parents about the abuse. They confronted Cian Farrelly and he made limited admissions and the abuse did not recur.

In her victim impact statement, Aoife Farrelly said she did not blame her parents but hated they did not understand the deeply traumatic effect the abuse had on her.

Cian Farrelly had been allowed to slot back into her life and due to Covid, she had been trapped in the family home with him due to the lockdown.

Farrelly pleaded guilty and Mr Justice Paul McDermott outlined the evidence today.

He said this was the repeated rape and sexual assault of a very young child who was “helpless, isolated and alone” and involved a significant degree of violence.

The court heard harrowing details of Aoife Farrelly screaming and trying to resist the abuse but was physically overpowered by her brother who placed his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams.

Justice McDermott said Farrelly was well aware that what he was doing was wrong but had to take into account his age and his level of maturity at the time of the offending.

And he could not sentence him as severely as he would if he had been an adult.

He sentenced him to four years and six months and suspended the final 18 months.

Outside the court, Aoife Farrelly said no sentence would have been long enough for her brother.

But she said today was the start of the rest of her life.

She said the abuse and its effects had been horrific, but she had been adamant she wanted to waive her anonymity.

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