Áras Attracta staff member appeals severity of sentence

Patrick McLoughlin assaulted intellectually disabled woman by sitting on her lap

A care worker who was convicted of assaulting an intellectually disabled woman by sitting on her lap, is appealing against the severity of a four-month prison sentence imposed on him.

Patrick McLoughlin (56), Mayfield, Claremorris, Co Mayo, a clinical nurse manager at Arás Attracta in Swinford, was sentenced at the District Court last February.

He was also ordered to pay €1,000 to his victim.

When the matter came before Judge Rory MacCabe at the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar on Tuesday, barrister Conall McCarthy said his client was appealing the sentence on grounds of severity only.


Judge MacCabe put the appeal hearing back to October after Mr McCarthy said he wanted to adduce medical evidence and other evidence before the court.

Patrick Reynolds, counsel for the State, asked that CCTV evidence and other evidence from a detective garda sergeant be heard today but Judge MacCabe said he felt it better that the matter be dealt with at one sitting. He put the case back to October.

McLoughlin, a father of three, said during his District Court trial that sitting on his victim’s lap was “a bit of fun”.

However, Judge Mary Devins said there had been a hint of cruelty in his actions to a particularly vulnerable woman and found him guilty of assault.

Charges of assault against the accused arose from filming at Bungalow 3 of the Áras complex carried out covertly by RTÉ’s Investigations Unit.