An arrest warrant has been issued for convicted killer and rapist Ian Horgan after he failed to turn up in court for an ongoing case involving an alleged breach of the Sex Offenders Act over his joining of the dating app Tinder.
The convicted sex offender, jailed for the rape and killing of beautician Rachel Kiely in 2002, was due in Macroom District Court regarding an update on the alleged breaches, having been first charged in Bandon District Court on June 4 last.
Gardaí allege that between May 24 and 31 last he failed to notify them of a name - Cian - that he was using on the app that had not been previously notified, which is an offence under Section 10, sub-section 2, of the Sex Offenders Act 2001.
However, Horgan, 37 and with an address at 53 Byrne Avenue, Prospect in Co. Limerick, has denied the breach and that the use of the name ‘Cian’ as his profile name on Tinder had been a simple error.
At his last appearance before the court in Macroom, Horgan had authorised Gardaí to contact Tinder to access any relevant data regarding his application process to join the dating app.
However, at Macroom court on Wednesday Judge James McNulty was told Mr Horgan was not present and his solicitor, Sean Cahill, said he had no explanation as to why Mr Horgan was absent.
In addition, Detective Garda Derek Mulcahy gave evidence in court of technical breaches of bail conditions by Horgan. He told the judge that when Gardaí called to Mr Horgan’s address at 10.15pm on September 20 last he was not present, as required under his bail conditions.
On October 6, he signed on at a Garda station 20 minutes late, at 9.20pm, while Det. Garda Mulcahy said on October 7 Gardaí were contacted by Horgan at 9.15pm saying he could not sign on in Macroom as his partner had had a medical emergency. Det. Garda Mulcahy said subsequent checks showed Mr Horgan’s girlfriend was not in hospital, though Judge McNulty said this may be explicable as it could have been an emergency which did not require hospitalisation.
“The minor breaches of bail could be explained away,” Judge McNulty said, "but the non-appearance cannot be overlooked.” The court issued a warrant for his arrest.
Det. Garda Mulcahy also provided an update regarding efforts by Gardaí to engage with Tinder on the case, telling the judge that Gardaí called to the company’s office in Dublin but discovered there was no Tinder employee there, bar a receptionist at the WeWork office building who dealt with up to 50 companies registered as working there.
Judge McNulty said: “It’s like a lot of these global giants, they seem to be almost stateless.” A letter from a senior paralegal in USA firm Match Group, which owns Tinder, was also provided to the court, in which Gardaí were told they could be assisted but it may require going through the US Department of Justice.
Det. Garda Mulcahy said this could take up to eight months to receive a reply.
Judge McNulty said: “We had better not get frustrated by their reticence.” Det. Garda Mulcahy said he had asked a colleague, who has a Masters in Computer Forensics, to compile a report on accessing Tinder having gone through Mr Horgan’s statement of evidence, as an assistance to the court.