Fireman to be sentenced for sexual relationship with underage girl

Central Criminal Courts
Central Criminal Courts

A former fireman with an “unblemished” 30 years serving with Dublin Fire Brigade will be sentenced later for having a sexual relationship with a child.

Ron Tulie (57) met his victim while teaching a first aid and fire safety course in 2008, when she was 16-years-old.

Garda Declan Sherlock revealed that the teenager, who had felt in love with Tulie, suffered severe long-term psychological effects from the incidents.

Tulie, a father-of-four of Pinevalley Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin pleaded guilty to four counts of having sexual intercourse with a child under 17 years at the Dublin Mountains between June 1 and July 27, 2008. He has no previous convictions.

Gda Sherlock told Roisin Lacey BL, prosecuting, that the girl's school principal heard rumours about the relationship after it had ended and alerted the HSE.

Gardaí got involved and met with the victim, who revealed Tulie had given her and her two friends his email and Bebo addresses when the course ended. He told the teenagers “to keep in contact girls.”

The court heard the victim contacted Tulie within a week and started a friendly relationship with him through emails.

Tulie met with the girl and her friends a number of times between February and June 2008 and drove them to parks and other scenic areas.

Gda Sherlock said the relationship between Tulie and the girl had developed by June and on one occasion, he took her alone to the Dublin Mountains.

The then teenager recalled that Tulie had still been in his fireman's uniform when he pulled his car into a viewing area and had sex with her for a few seconds in the back seat.

She told gardaí she had been a virgin at the time and stopped the intercourse because of the pain.

The young woman said she met Tulie for consensual sex about five times between June and July. Gda Sherlock told Ms Lacey that Tulie had not worn a condom on any occasion.

The victim told gardaí she felt she had been in love with Tulie but realised she was being used for sex when the relationship ended in early 2009.

Gda Sherlock said the girl became ill and her education suffered.

The garda said the ex-fireman told him he intended to plead guilty to the charges when he was arrested in 2012.

Gda Sherlock agreed with Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, that her client left the fire brigade voluntarily because of the case.

Ms Gearty submitted to Judge Desmond Hogan that her client, who has been married for 30 years, is deemed at low risk of re-offending according to psychologists.

Counsel said Tulie was very remorseful and understands what he has done to the victim and his own family.

Ms Gearty submitted that Tulie would suffer from being named in the media and that he has already been placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

“He had a long, unblemished history with the fire institution and he has destroyed all that himself,” Ms Gearty added.

Judge Hogan said he would have to consider the Victim Impact Statement and Tulie's psychological reports before imposing sentence. He remanded Tulie in custody pending sentence in October