Man ‘poisoned’ daughter’s youth by sexually abusing her over prolonged period

Cyril Mullane (51), from Strokestown, has been jailed for 11½ years for abuse of girl between 2011 and 2016

A man who “poisoned” his daughter’s youth with years of sexual abuse after they reconnected when she was a child has been jailed for 11½ years.

Cyril Mullane (51) was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of 26 counts of sexually abusing Chloe Mullane on dates between June 2011 and September 2016, when the girl was aged between six and 12.

Mullane, with an address at Borefield, Strokestown, Co Roscommon, was found guilty of 11 counts of oral rape, 14 counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape at his then homes in Co Sligo and in Norfolk, England. He had denied the charges.

Ms Mullane, who waived her right to anonymity so her father could be named, first met the defendant when six when her mother reconnected with him following a brief relationship which resulted in her birth.


The girl then went to visit her father’s home at Rainbow Cottage, Castlebaldwin, Co Sligo and later to his home in Norfolk.

The court heard Mullane started abusing his daughter from the age of six, starting with inappropriate touching and progressing to oral rape. The abuse ended when Ms Mullane threatened to tell her mother about it.

In her victim impact statement, read out at a previous sentence hearing, Ms Mullane said the abuse left her feeling confused and isolated as a child and that she struggled to form relationships as an adult.

She said she felt like “damaged goods” as a result of the abuse suffered at the hands of her father.

“I am never able to look into the mirror and not see his face or see him standing behind me,” she said.

Sentencing Mullane on Monday, Mr Justice Kerida Naidoo said Ms Mullane’s youth “was poisoned by the abuse to which she was subjected”.

“She is still struggling to get over it,” he said.

The judge said a sad aspect of the case was that Ms Mullane was initially excited to have her father back in her life and that she continued to wish for a normal relationship with him, even as he continued to abuse her.

Ms Justice Naidoo noted a number of aggravating factors, including the “elevated degradation” of the sexual abuse given the girl’s youth, the significant breach of trust and the fact the abuse occurred over a prolonged period.

In mitigation, the judge noted Mullane has no serious previous convictions, aside for some minor road traffic offences. The court heard Mullane is now married with two sons.

“However, given the persistent nature of the offending, it can’t be said that he is a person of previously good character.” He also noted that Mullane did not plead guilty to the offences.

The judge handed down a sentence of 13 years but suspended the final 18 months on a number of conditions.