Republic of Ireland news

Ex-Sinn Féin councillor and GAA caretaker sentenced for child sex abuse

Jimmy McDonnell was sentenced to 12 years in jail with four years suspended

A FORMER Sinn Féin councillor and ex-caretaker at a GAA ground has been jailed for child sex abuse.

Jimmy McDonnell (63), of Annaly Park in Longford, was sentenced to 12 years in jail with four suspended for sexual assault, sexual exploitation, possession and distribution of child pornography.

The former Defence Forces member had pleaded guilty to 45 sample charges out of more than 140 offences committed between 2000 and 2008.

The abuse began when he struck up friendships with four children, including one aged four.

A seven-year-old boy was abused for eight years, sometimes on a daily basis and with McDonnell videotaping what happened.

A handwritten apology to his victims was handed into court in McDonnell's behalf.

Sentencing him at Longford Circuit Court yesterday, the judge said they were extremely serious offences and noted a report that he was at high risk of reoffending.

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