Court of Appeal, Dublin
An alleged IRA man who was jailed for raping teenage boys at a “republican safe house” over two decades ago is to seek more time to lodge an appeal against his conviction.
Passing sentence at the Central Criminal Court in May 2019, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that Belfast native Seamus Marley used his standing in the republican movement, a movement “well capable of clandestine killings”, to silence his victims.
The 46-year-old, with a last address at Belfield Court, Stillorgan Road, in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting and anally raping the two boys in Co. Louth on dates in the early 1990s.
He was unanimously found guilty on six counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape by a Central Criminal Court jury, following a six-day trial, and was given concurrent seven-year and six-year sentences by the judge.
The alleged IRA man had filed for an appeal against his conviction outside of the required 28-day period in which to lodge an appeal. A defendant normally has 28 days from the date of their sentence to file a notice of their intent to appeal.
Counsel for Marley, Michael Bowman SC, today applied to the Court of Appeal for a date to hear the application for an extension of time so the case can go to full hearing.
Patrick Gageby SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the court that the State would contest the application and the hearing would last 30 minutes.
President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham set June 25 next as the date for hearing of the motion to extend time.
During the trial, prosecuting counsel Mr Gageby told the Central Criminal Court jury that Marley's victims lived in a large home owned by a “dedicated republican” and that it began to be used as a “safe house”.
The jury heard that IRA volunteers would be brought to the house during the night and stay for a few days or weeks. Marley was one of these guests in the early 1990s and he was welcomed into the family, according to Detective Garda Séamus Nolan.
The older of the two victims said that he awoke one night while on a camping trip to find Marley groping his genitals. He said that he woke up another night in the house to find Marley raping him.
After the incident Marley warned him off telling anyone what had happened and said he “could be found dead on a border road”, the trial heard.
The younger victim was given alcohol by Marley and was groped or masturbated by him on three or four occasions.
On one occasion he awoke to find Marley engaging in oral intercourse with him, Mr Gageby told the court. Counsel said that the victim was later raped by Marley in a tent nearby the house.
Marley had no previous convictions. The court heard he is from a large family in Belfast and that his father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries.
During the trial, gardaí agreed with John Fitzgerald SC, defending, that they had no intelligence that the accused was involved in any paramilitary organisation until the complainants came forward with their allegations and that the accused had never been arrested for any “alleged subversive activities”.
Mr Fitzgerald said that Marley has been in a relationship for 16 years and that his partner had been present in court throughout the trial. He handed in a letter from Marley's pastor which described him as being “an excellent Christian” who possessed a “charitable spirit”.