Yesterday, the family of Michael Martin – jailed this week for 17 years for the attempted abduction of a 11-year-old girl in Cullahill, Co. Laois – broke a two-decade-long silence to brand him a ‘monster’ and a ‘liar’ who had played the system by making up stories of being abused as a child.
“He is a liar and as a family we have completely disowned him,” his sister told the Sunday World.
“He was never ever abused – I can’t explain his actions. But every word he told that Judge about his background to get sympathy was completely untrue.
“As a family we didn’t know what to do – we had to listen to those lies on the Six One news and in the papers being repeated as if they were fact, when we know he just made it all up to get sympathy from the judges.”
In a shocking interview, Martin’s sister – who asked not to be identified in order to prevent her children being linked to the sex offender – revealed:
Martin’s parents were called to his primary school two weeks after he began school aged four and were asked to take him to a psychiatrist;
- He had no friends growing up and ruthlessly bullied other children in the area;
- The family believe Martin’s claims he had a child who suffered a cot-death are a lie;
- And they say they believe he was never ever physically or sexually abused by anyone as a child.
The Sunday World previously revealed how Martin (36) had 92 previous convictions, including one for abduction of a child and was on bail at the time of the offence when he attempted to abduct an 11-year-old girl in Co. Laois on March 4.
If it wasn’t for the girl’s ten-year-old brother jumping onto Martin’s car at the time, the outcome of the incident could have been far worse.
He was sentenced to 17 years with the final four suspended by Judge Keenan Johnson, who said he wished he could hand him a life sentence if he had the option. The judge pointed out that the man had an ‘extensive’ record of crime, with his litany of previous convictions dating back to 1999.
These include a conviction for sexual assault in 2000 and abduction of a child in 2003 and threatening to kill or cause serious bodily harm in 2010.
The child who Martin abducted in 2003 was a 14-year-old neighbour of the family’s who was then living in Carlow – and who was 10 years younger than Martin when he went missing with her for four days.
Martin’s sister told the Sunday World: “What Michael did, it’s a worst nightmare.
“And its even worse because it’s not the first time he abducted a child.
“As a family, we have completely disowned him.
“My kids don’t know him as their uncle and I never wanted anything to do with him because he made our lives so difficult for us growing up.
“We could never have friends over to the house because everyone was afraid of him.
“Even before he took our neighbour’s child in 2003 he had been in and out of prison since the age of 16.
“But all the sentences handed down were too soft because he would tell the judges this sob story about being abused himself.
“My parents did absolutely everything they could to help him.
“From the time he was four years of age it was known there was something wrong with him.
“My parents were called to the school two weeks after he started junior infants and asked to take him to a psychiatrist.
“I mean what child has ever needed to see a psychiatrist at the age of four?
“They took him to everyone they could but the services just weren’t there back then.
“Everything he said about physical and sexual abuse was just bulls**t.
“We don’t know what those lies served to achieve other than trying to get the sympathy of the judges.
“The truth is he would say anything to get himself out of trouble and always has. My parents have been through hell because of him.
“That poor family (of the 11-year-old girl), they came here to start a new life and he took that from them. That poor little girl will never be able to forget what he did."
Despite claims circulating that after his release for the abduction he had lived with family in Waterford, Martin’s sister said no-one in the family has wanted anything to do with him over the last decade.
“After he was arrested in March a Garda in Portlaoise rang me and said I have Michael here in the station and asked if I’d like to speak to him and I just said ‘No!’ Then a nun rang me from the prison and again I told her no.
“Daddy got phone calls as well and he didn’t speak to him either.”
Martin’s sister was extremely critical yesterday of Ireland’s judges for handing down soft sentences to her brother regardless of the extent and frequency of his crimes.
“I’m a mother myself and as a mother I would have preferred if he had gotten life.”
The Martin family also said they wished to make it clear that Michael was not a Martin by birth and that he had already been born when his mum married their father.