A Carlow man accused of sexually abusing his two nieces and their neighbour as children has dismissed the allegations as lies.
The 51-year-old man told his counsel, Mary Rose Gearty SC, that he “not once” and “not in the least” raped or indecently assaulted his nieces, and he “certainly did not” perform a sex act or indecently assault their neighbour.
He outlined his work history and sporting interests in the late 70s and early 80s and told Ms Gearty he would also have frequented his then-girlfriend’s house.
He added that he experienced animosity from the mother of his nieces, his sister-in-law, but couldn’t say why she took this attitude towards him.
The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 91 charges of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault against three girls in a Carlow town between February 1978 and December 1986.
The man has been charged with 28 counts of indecently assaulting and 26 charges of raping a first complainant from the time she was almost seven until she was 13 years old.
He has been charged with 25 counts of indecently assaulting and one count of raping a second complainant, her old sister, from when she was seven to 12 years old.
The man is also charged with 10 counts of indecently assaulting the girls’ next door neighbour and attempting to rape her on one occasion when she was between eight and 13 years old.
Referring to his nieces, the man said he treated them like sisters and never had a single argument with them. He denied he had any “dirty books” in the house because his sister-in-law would have cleaned his room.
Caroline Biggs SC, prosecuting, asked him in cross examination if he had ever been concerned why one of the complainants, whom he said he regarded as a sister, hadn’t spoken to him in a number of years prior to making allegations.
The man replied that he presumed this complainant had sided with her mother. He denied Ms Biggs’s suggestion that he didn’t ask her why they had lost contact because he was afraid of the answer.
Ms Biggs asked him if he was saying the complainants’ allegations arose from the women siding with his sister-in-law.
“I don’t know where they’re coming from, you’d have to get into their minds for that,” the man responded.
He commented that maybe the complainants were “after money”.
He agreed that nobody had yet approached him for money.
The accused told Ms Biggs that his younger niece’s childhood friend had lied in her evidence about him exposing his private parts during a tickling game.
Ms Biggs put it to him that each of the three complainants referred to a tickling game and “as you’re aware they’re not just speaking about tickling”.
The man replied: “And that’s where they’re lying.”
Counsel put it to the accused that his suggestion all three complainants colluded in a cock-and-bull story was nonsense, to which he responded: “As you said, cock-and-bull story.”
The trial continues before a jury of three women and nine men and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy.