Roscommon sex-offender banned from contact with children

A 62-year-old Roscommon-based convicted sex-offender who has a high risk of re-offending has agreed not to have any direct contact with children under the age of 18.

At Ennis District Court, Joseph O’Brien of Riverside at Ballintubber agreed to the condition as part of a four-month suspended sentence imposed on the man.

Judge Patrick Durcan imposed the four-month prison term and suspended it for two years after Mr O’Brien pleaded guilty to failing to notify gardaí of a change of address under the requirements of the Sex Offenders Act.


Judge Durcan said that the contents of a probation report on Mr O’Brien puts his case “into a serious category all on its own”.

Judge Durcan read out an extract of the report in court recording that “Mr O’Brien has a substantial conviction record, most notably three convictions for indecent exposure, four convictions for indecent assault and three convictions for attempted murder and several burglaries”.

Addressing Mr O’Brien’s solicitor, John Casey, Judge Durcan said: “Mr O’Brien is somebody who should be 100% compliant and his non-compliance places him in a category of its own in terms of seriousness.”

Sergeant Catriona Houlihan pointed out to the court that Mr O’Brien is no longer subject to the Sex Offenders Act 2001.

Asked by Judge Durcan would she have continuing concerns in relation to Mr O’Brien, Sergeant Houlihan replied: “I would.”

Judge Durcan explained that Mr O’Brien is no longer subject to the Sex Offenders Act due to the length of sentence he received in the circuit court for his most recent sex offence.

A solicitor for Mr O’Brien, John Casey, said his client undertakes to abide by any conditions laid down by the Probation Service or the court and that Mr O’Brien was abused as a child himself.

Judge Durcan said Mr O’Brien must abide by the conditions as set out in the Probation Report that include him attending all appointment with his GP or psychiatrist, notify gardaí in advance of any change of address and have no direct contact with children under the age of 18.