Kerry man jailed for rape of  sleeping woman launches appeal

Kerry man jailed for rape of  sleeping woman launches appeal

A full appeal has been lodged by the legal team of Conor Quaid, the 26-year-old Dingle man convicted and jailed for the rape of a female as she slept in the bedroom of her home in June 2018.

Quaid, of Monaree, Dingle was convicted of the rape of the woman in a majority verdict by a jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork last September.

He had pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence throughout the case. 

He was sentenced last month to eight years with 18 months suspended.

Controversy over testimonials

There has been a storm of controversy surrounding glowing testimonials which were handed into court from a leading local GAA officer at the sentencing hearing, along with a publican, and others.

A retired garda sergeant who resides outside the county was also among the several good character references handed into the sentencing court in an effort to mitigate the penalty to be handed down to Quaid.

Particular anger has been aimed at the GAA and the county board in Kerry with the victim’s family asking the board of the County Kerry GAA to explain its acceptance that the testimonial by the vice chairman of the Dingle GAA club was in a personal capacity.

The Director of the Kerry Rape Crisis and Abuse Centre has offered “awareness training” to the GAA on sensitivity surrounding the issue of sexual violence.

The trial, during which Quaid maintained his innocence, heard how he was a trusted family friend; how he knew the victim’s family was away and how after a night out drinking he had travelled to her home and raped her while she was  asleep. She had not been out, and she had not been drinking.

Tom Rice, prosecuting, told the trial that there was “almost universal knowledge of the case” in the locality and the victim wanted him named.

Judge Mary Rose Gearty at the sentencing noted Quaid had shown no remorse.

In her victim impact statement, read by investigating garda Sergeant Ernie Henderson, the victim said everyone in the locality knew about the rape.

“I know some people held me responsible and that is difficult when I am the victim,” she said .