Man facing sentence for sexual assault makes suicide attempt

Christopher McCarthy convicted of sexually assaulting his nieces


A man facing sentence for sexually assaulting two of his nieces tried to take his own life , a court has heard.

Christopher McCarthy (50) of Glendalough Park, the Lough, Cork was convicted earlier this month of two counts of sexually assaulting his niece, Tanya Walsh, in 1984 and 1989.

McCarthy had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of sexually assaulting another niece, Michelle O’Brien, at his home in Elm Close in Wilton on a date between 1988 and 1990.

McCarthy had been remanded on bail for sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today by Judge David Riordan following a trial earlier this month for the assaults on Ms Walsh.

But Judge Riordan was informed that McCarthy had been admitted to Cork University Hospital after a suicide attempt at his home yesterday evening and he was still in hospital.

However the case proceeded when McCarthy was discharged from CUH today but his barrister, Niamh Stewart asked for an adjournment to allow him be psychiatrically assessed.

Ms Stewart said she was making the application because it was the second time within the space of a week that McCarthy had attempted to take his own life as a result of depression.

McCarthy’s wife, Margaret told the court that last Tuesday, McCarthy had announced that he was going to climb Carrauntwohill and he drove from his home in Cork to Co Kerry.

She heard nothing for him until late in the afternoon when he rang her in a distressed state and said he needed help to get down the mountain so she rang Kerry Mountain Rescue.

They found him on the mountain and brought him down and he was taken to Kerry General Hospital in Tralee where he was treated before being discharged, she told the court.

Then when she found him unconscious at home yesterday she found a note in which he revealed that he had taken tablets on Carrauntwohill and had planned to end his life there.

Ms McCarthy said that she believed her husband needed pyschiatric help as she had never seen him so depressed as he has been in the last few weeks since the trial.

The court heard Victim Impact Statements from McCarthy’s two victims in which they both spoke of how their relationships with their family had suffered due to his abuse.

Ms Walsh (40) was abused by McCarthy at a “This is Your Life” function for another of her uncles, Cork hurling manager, Gerald McCarthy at Pairc Uí Chaoimh when she was 15.

She had also been abused by him some five years earlier in 1984 when they were watching a Christmas Day film on television at his parents’ home in Ballyphehane.

“I have waited 1,300 weeks, which is 25 years for acknowledgement from you but you have preferred to make me go through this whole ordeal,” said Ms Walsh.

“I knew one day I would get to tell what happened to me and I made a promise to myself that whether I was 20, 30 or 40 that when my Nan and Grandied died, that I would report you.

“Even at my own grandparents’s funeral I sat at the back of the church because when I see you, you bring me back to this scared, lost little girl.

“Because of you, I have always been treated like a family outcast .... I have always been made to feel who I am doesn’t matter and just keep that family secret.”

Ms O’Brien (35), who was just nine when McCarthy abused her, told how her family had also decided to keep the matter secret after she told her mother what had happened to her.

“When Christopher McCarthy abused me, my childhood was stolen from me, he took my innocence away - when it happened, I felt confused and scared,” she said.

Ms O’Brien said the abuse “was brushed under the carpet” and she embarked on a downward spiral of drinking and arguing with her mother about the decision to keep the abuse secret.

Judge Riordan said that he wanted an assessment from the Probation Service on whether McCarthy had “a paedophilic condition” and whether he posed a risk to children.

He said he would adjourn the matter until October 30th which would also allow McCarthy to be psychiatrically assessed and he remanded him in custody to appear again on that date.