Alleged IRA man jailed for seven years for raping two teenage boys in 1990s

Seamus Marley had denied charges of assaulting the boys at a ‘republican safe house’

Seamus Marley has been sentenced to seven years in jail for raping two teenage boys in the 1990s. Photograph: Collins Courts

Seamus Marley has been sentenced to seven years in jail for raping two teenage boys in the 1990s. Photograph: Collins Courts


An alleged IRA member who raped two teenage boys at a “republican safe house” two decades ago has been jailed for seven years.

Seamus Marley (45) with an address at Belfield Court, Stillorgan Road, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to charges of sexual assaulting and anally raping two boys in Co Louth on dates in the early 1990s.

After a six-day trial the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on a total of six counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape.

After hearing evidence on Monday Mr Justice Paul McDermott remanded the man in custody. On Thursday, he sentenced him to a number of concurrent and consecutive prison terms, amounting to a total operative sentence of seven years.

During the trial Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, told the jury the two complainants lived in a large home owned by a “dedicated republican” and that it began to be used as a “safe house”.

The jury heard IRA volunteers would be brought to the house during the night and stay for a few days or weeks.

Detective Garda Seamus Nolan told Mr Gageby that Marley was one of these guests in the early 1990s and that he was welcomed into the family.

The older of the two victims said that he woke up one night while on a camping trip to find Marley groping his genitals. He said that he woke up another night in the house to find Marley anally raping him.

After the incident Marley warned him off telling anyone what had happened and said he “could be found dead on a border road”.

The younger victim was given alcohol by Marley and was groped or masturbated by him on three or four occasions.

On one occasion he awoke to find Marley “sucking his penis”, Mr Gageby told the court. Counsel said that the victim was later anally raped by Marley in a tent near the house.

Marley has no previous convictions. The court heard that he is from a large family in Belfast and that his father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries.

During the trial, Det Gda Nolan told John Fitzgerald SC, defending, that gardaí­ had no intelligence that the accused was involved in any paramilitary organisation until the complainants came forward with their allegations and that the accused had never been arrested for any “alleged subversive activities”.

Victim impact

In his victim impact statement, which was read out in court, the older victim said he has spent the previous 27 years living in despair and looking over his shoulder. He said he had finally reached the end of the tunnel and that his life now revolved around his wife and children.

“This is my life and I am taking it back,” the man said.

The younger victim, who also read his victim impact statement, said that as the house was beside a graveyard they had “quiet neighbours, dead ones”. He said that he had learned that it was “not the dead we should be afraid of, but the living”.

He said that Marley “preyed on me, groomed me, abused me and raped me”. He said the life he had dreamed of was in “tatters” from the moment Marley entered the house.

“Marley was always lurking in the back of my mind,” the man said. He said in the years subsequent to the abuse he suffered panic attacks and experienced a “deep depression so black” it was hard to put into words.

He said he ended up in hospital and called Councillor Pearse McGeough of Sinn Féin to ask for help, but that after the call he knew he was on his own. He said it had taken longer to reach this point than it should have as “people with power sought to protect their own interests”.

The man said the “fabrication of stories” to discredit him made the trial so much harder. He said that if “you are right and truthful and keep shouting” then eventually someone would listen.

He said he loves his parents and does not blame them for what Marley did to him. He apologised to his wife for not being a better husband and thanked her for all she had done for him.

The man said he prayed to God that they would grow old together so that he would be able to somewhat pay her back.

Mr Fitzgerald said that Marley has been in a relationship for 16 years and that his partner had been present in court throughout the trial. He handed in a letter from Marley’s pastor which described him as being “an excellent Christian” who possessed a “charitable spirit”.