Sex assault complainant ‘vindictive’ says accused

Christopher McCarthy earlier this week at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Cork Courts

A man who denies sexually assaulting his niece at a This is Your Life celebration at Páirc Uí Chaoimh was accused by the prosecution yesterday of a character assassination of the complainant, by calling her malicious, vindictive and a liar.

The trial of Christopher McCarthy, aged 50, of 11 Glendalough Park, The Lough, Cork, on five counts of indecently assaulting his niece Tanya Walsh on various occasions between 1978 and 1989 when she was aged approximately four to 15 years, will go into its fifth day on Monday when Judge David Riordan will send the jury out to deliberate.

Yesterday McCarthy was cross-examined by prosecution barrister Pearse Sreenan, who said the defendant had effectively accused his niece of taking retribution against the McCarthy family, and of vindictiveness. “You are effectively saying she is a liar,” Mr Sreenan said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. McCarthy replied: “Oh she is a liar. I am 100% convinced she is lying.”

On the defendant’s claim that the complainant was trying to extract money from him, Mr Sreenan said that in the three and a half years since she made her complaints to gardaí, she had not once written a letter looking for money from the accused. McCarthy replied: “I would not expect any letter from her other than a letter of apology.”

Mr Sreenan said: “Your evidence is self-serving and nothing more than a character assassination of your niece. You are calling her a liar, a perjurer, vindictive and only looking for money.”

McCarthy replied: “I believe every one of those words you said is correct.”

“She is making the allegations because of all the hurt and suffering she inflicted not alone on her mother but on the rest of her family. I think her conscience is becoming an issue with her. I think she would like to be able to blame someone for all the horrific things she has done.”

Summing up the prosecution case, Mr Sreenan referred to the fifth complaint where she said she was indecently assaulted at a This is Your Life event in Páirc Uí Chaoimh for Gerald McCarthy, former All- Ireland-winning Cork player and brother of the accused.

“The event, This is Your Life, sums up Tanya Walsh because in some ways this is her life. These events have haunted her for the last 40 years; she makes these complaints and is effectively smeared by the accused man,” Mr Sreenan said.

Defence barrister Niamh Stewart said, “He did not have to give evidence but he wanted to prove to you he is 100% innocent, even though there is no onus on the defence to do so, as he is presumed innocent.”

Referring to Mr Sreenan’s comment that the complaint of sexual assault by insertion of fingers into her vagina was consistent between the five complaints, Ms Stewart said: “She is more likely to stick to her one story because they are all lies. If they were different she is more likely to be caught out.”


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