Bus driver pleads guilty to sex assaults

A bus driver has pleaded guilty to 11 charges of sexual assault against two sisters during which he tricked them into playing “sweet games” while he abused them.

Leo McFarland had originally pleaded not guilty to 53 charges against sisters Cathy and Caroline Brady in Carndonagh, Co Donegal, when they were children between 1983 and 1985.

However, McFarland, aged 57, dramatically changed his plea and admitted to 11 of the charges against the women.

The sisters addressed Letterkenny Circuit Court and said they would like to waive their anonymity in order for McFarland to be identified.

The women were indecently assaulted by McFarland, a father of five, in the kitchen of his home in the Inishowen town of Carndonagh and in his mini-bus during the 1980s. The two girls were assaulted when one was aged five to seven years and the other seven to nine.

Cathy Brady, 37, fought back tears as she revealed how she has turned to drink and also tried to take her life as a result of the attacks.

“He would ask us to look for sweets in his pocket. There would be a hole [in his trouser pocket]. He would say ‘move about more and more and squeeze and look for it’. It was his penis. There was never sweets.”

Judge John O’Hagan ordered that McFarland, who now lives in Oak Grove, Millfield, Buncrana, be placed on the sex offenders’ register and adjourned the case until the next sitting of the circuit court in April.

McFarland, who was in court with one of his daughters, was released on bail until sentencing in April.


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