The Release of Cobh Sex Offender Leaves Locals Feeling Uneasy

By Seamus Whelehan

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Nearly two hundred residents have signed an online petition to have a guilty child sex abuser removed from a council house in Cobh. The 53 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty in 2013 of defiling a 14 year old girl by sexual intercourse in 2009, and was sentenced to five years in jail.

The incident took place during a sleep over at the convicted sex offender’s home in the Harbour town.

It was alleged that the then 43 year old had assaulted the girl on a sitting room sofa, and later had sexual intercourse in the bedroom.

He denied the charges, but was found guilty by a Jury.

176 people have already signed the petition requesting Cork County Council’s Estate Management Office to deny access to the Council home where the sexual assault took place.

The 53 year old returned to the property over Christmas, where he resides with his partner.

While he has served his time for the offence, residents say Council must act immediately to “prevent the hurt, anger and fear” that is being created by allowing him to return to the property.

Samuel Connelly, who created the online petition says “there are many young girls in our neighbourhood including the young lady [who was] defiled. She regularly visits her grandparents there. All residents are extremely worried and concerned that this individual, who is not from the town or county, would believe it ok for him to return to the Council house, after serving time for sexually assaulting an underage child from this neighbourhood.’

Cork County Council were contacted by the East Cork Journal for a statement.  However, they say they do not comment on individual cases.

Under the Sex Offences Act 2001, persons convicted of a range of sexual offences are required to notify Gardaí on their release from prison.

Once the Force is aware of the individual they are then monitored by the Sex Offenders Management Unit at the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in co-ordination with the local Station.

Failure to notify Gardaí is a criminal offence.

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