A former Galway hotel owner has been given a six year sentence for the rape of an employee following a staff party.
47 year old Brian Shaughnessy raped the young woman in the Presidential Suite of the Loughrea Hotel and Spa after asking her earlier in the night if he could confide in her and buy her drinks.
He was the owner of the hotel at the time.
Brian Shaughnessy, with an address at Ballywinna, Craughwell, had pleaded NOT guilty to rape of the girl at the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa in Galway on July 26, 2010 but was convicted by a jury following a trial in March this year.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan today suspended the final year of the six-year sentence on condition that Shaughnessy be of good behaviour and keep the peace for a period of one year post-release.
The judge noted that the accused had not accepted the jury’s verdict of guilty, and said he would suspend one further year of the six-year sentence on the condition that Shaughnessy undertakes the “Better Lives” rehabilitation programme for sex offenders while he is in prison.
Mr Justice Sheehan said he took into the account the seriousness of the offence and the effect it had had on the young victim and on her education, particularly the depression she had suffered as a result of the rape.
However he also said he accepted the various character references that had been submitted on behalf of the accused, which indicated that his actions on the night in question had been out of character.
Mr Justice Sheehan accepted that Shaughnessy had actively supported and contributed to the development of his local community both through his involvement with the GAA and his business, and that he was very much involved in the upbringing of his young family.
The judge also pointed out that the adverse publicity attaching to the case was “punitive” for the defendant.
During the trial, the young woman outlined in a victim impact statement the effect of the rape on her life and family.
She said she became uptight afterwards and lost interest in her appearance and eating. She said she lashed out at the slightest thing and developed panic attacks.
She became afraid to fall asleep in case Shaughnessy was in her room.
She said “Physically, mentally and emotionally I was raped. I am a real person who was raped ….. I am your daughter, sister and friend,”
“You never took responsibility for what you did,” she told Shaughnessy. She said he had taken her innocence, confidence and trust but she now had it back.
“I am handing back the guilt, blame and responsibility for my rape to its rightful owner. It is no longer mine to carry,” she said
The sentence was backdated to 22nd March 2013, when Brian Shaughnessy went into custody.
EY Ireland expansion to deliver new jobs at Galway base
Galway Bay fm newsroom – EY Ireland has announced the creation of over 800 jobs nationwide with 210 roles to be spread across its regional offices in Galway, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Belfast.
The expansion will bring the headcount in EY to over 4,200 across the island of Ireland.
The 414 experienced hire roles will be advertised and filled by the end of June next year, while a further 402 roles will be filled by university graduates starting this autumn.
EY Ireland says increasing demand for its services and fundamental changes brought about by the pandemic, were key to its decision to expand.
Access to redress scheme for Tuam Mother and Baby Home survivors to be widened
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Minister for Children is set to expand the redress scheme for survivors of mother and baby homes beyond the terms recommended by the commission of investigation.
Women who stayed less than six months in facilities such as the Tuam Mother and Baby home and those resident after 1974 are now set to be included.
With thousands of potential beneficiaries, it’s believed that the scheme could cost up to €800 million.
Minister Roderic O’Gorman is expected to seek Cabinet approval for the redress plan in the coming weeks and according to the Irish Times, the scheme will now include women who spent less than six months in the homes and those resident after 1974.
Plans to broaden the scheme follow controversy over the findings of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.
In its January report, the commission recommended women who spent lengthy periods in mother and baby homes before 1974 should be considered for redress.
It also said women who were in county homes, the Tuam home and those who worked outside the institutions without pay should be eligible.
Minister O’ Gorman stated earlier this year that he hopes to open the redress scheme to applications as soon as possible in 2022.