Statement by Deputy Kathleen Lynch re Cork court case

20 April 2008

Statement by Kathleen Lynch TD
Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Primary Care, Social Care (Disabilities & Older People) and Mental Health.

I refer to a letter I wrote, which was mentioned by Mr. Justice Patrick McCarthy, last Friday when he was imposing a sentence of 13 years on Trevor Casey for a number of extremely serious sexual offences.

The letter was written in good faith by me, testifying to the good character of Mr. Casey's parents and was presented to the judge by his defending counsel.

Having heard an interview with one of the victims in the case, who was clearly distressed by my letter and having considered the matter and discussed it with colleagues I now accept that it was inappropriate for a TD to have become involved in any way in a case of such seriousness.

If my action has in any way added to the ordeal of the two victims in this case, then I deeply regret that and offer them my apologies.

I want to reiterate that I have no issue with court process or the sentence imposed in this case. I have long been an advocate of proper supports for victims of sexual offences and I believe that serious offenders should receive and serve appropriate sentences.

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