A ‘This is Your Life’ celebration at Pairc Uí Chaoimh was the occasion for an indecent assault by a guest on his niece, it was alleged during a trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.
Christopher McCarthy, aged 50, of 11 Glendalough Park, The Lough, pleaded not guilty to five counts of indecently assaulting his niece, Tanya Walsh, on various occasions between 1978 and 1989 when she was aged approximately 4 to 15.
Ms Walsh said the final indecent assault occurred when she was about 15 and attending a ‘This is Your Life’ event with her mother at Pairc Uí Chaoimh for Gerald McCarthy, a former All-Ireland-winning Cork player, and brother of the accused.
Ms Walsh said she and her late mother, sister of Gerald and Christopher McCarthy, were supposed to be on the phone from England where they lived but were actually in the next room and were brought out as a surprise for Gerald McCarthy.
“Coming towards the end of the night, my mum had been drinking quite a bit,” Ms Walsh told the court, adding that her mother had gone missing and that when she went looking for her, “I ended up in the tunnels when I came out of the hall.
“Christopher McCarthy came out of nowhere, he appeared on my left-hand side. He asked me what I was doing. I said I was looking for my mum. We started walking along. I had a beige skirt, quite a short skirt. He placed his hand on the back of my skirt and placed his hand into the back of my knickers. He put his hand to my vagina. As we walked his hand was rubbing me.
“Someone just appeared and he stopped. That was probably one of the most scariest. If we were not disturbed [by the person passing], I thought he would do something worse,” Ms Walsh testified, adding that the defendant was married at that time.
Ms Walsh said that, about 10 years previously, at her grandparents’ home at Upper Clarke’s Rd, Ballyphehane, he indecently assaulted her by putting his fingers up her skirt and into her vagina. She said this occurred again when she was sitting on his shoulders and he put his fingers into her vagina.
Ms Walsh said the next time was when she was sitting on his lap on a short family trip to somewhere in town in the back of a car with others, including her mother.
She said the fourth time it happened was on Christmas Day 1984, when they were trying to get reception to watch the film Airplane on a bedroom television upstairs at her grandparent’s house. She claimed he put his fingers in her vagina.
Niamh Stewart, defending, told Ms Walsh: “You were written out of the will, that is why you are bringing these allegations. This is all about money.”
Ms Walsh replied: “No, not at all.”
The complainant said she did not benefit from the will because her mother had died and so she, as a grandchild, was not in the will of her own grandparents.
Ms Stewart accused Ms Walsh of not being able to remember any details of shortly before or after each incident because the indecent assaults did not happen at all.
Ms Walsh said: “I have had these incidents — as you call them — replaying in my head all my life. My memories are like a merry-go-round. All those memories go around and around, not what happened before or after.”
The case continues.
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