Man pleads guilty to rape of young cousin

He is due to be sentenced in February

A court has heard that a man raped his cousin while babysitting at her home in Sligo when she was just four or five years of age.

The girl, who is now 12, told her aunt what happened after social services took her away from her parents.

At the time, the girl’s mother would often leave her unattended in their home in a Sligo suburb while she went out drinking.

Social services became aware of the neglect and she was taken away and put in the care of her aunt, who sat her down a few years later to talk about the birds and the bees.

She said she became upset and told her that her cousin raped her while he was babysitting her one day.

She had been playing on the street and said it happened after she came in for a drink of water.

From the stand this afternoon, the girl’s aunt said she is still traumatised by what happened and has nightmares every night. She said she spent years dreading family events in case he’d be there.

The man, who cannot be named to protect her identity, pleaded guilty two weeks ago and will be sentenced in February..