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Cork man jailed for repeated rape of his own sister drops appeal against conviction

Last January, John Paul Hegarty (41) was jailed for seven years for repeatedly raping his youngest sister

John Paul Hegarty

Ali Bracken

A man who repeatedly raped his sister when she was aged nine to 12 has withdrawn his appeal against his conviction.

Last January, John Paul Hegarty (41) was jailed for seven years for repeatedly raping his youngest sister at the family home in Glanmire in Co Cork.

In March the Sunday World revealed Hegarty, of Castleview, Little Island, Co Cork, was appealing his conviction. He has now withdrawn his appeal.

It is understood his move to appeal had “caused additional pain”, according to a source familiar with the case.

Nora Hegarty at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork. Photo: Cork Courts Limited

After his conviction, his sister Nora Hegarty (35) waived her right to anonymity to signal to other victims of sexual abuse they need not “suffer in silence”.

In January Ms Hegarty told this newspaper: “I wanted to show others who have lived through the experiences that I have lived that they can get justice. They have nothing to be ashamed of.

“They don’t need to suffer in silence. There are people who will support them all the way through.

“For me my investigating garda, everyone at the Protective Service Unit in Cork city, were there for me throughout.”

Her brother was convicted by a jury last October at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork of 19 counts of rape, among other offences. He was aged 15 to 18 when he abused his sister.

Following his imprisonment, Ms Hegarty said she hoped she could finally look towards a future that is not consumed by memories of the abuse she has suffered.

She said she was hopeful that “light can now filter through” and she can move forward and begin to finally live her life.

“I feel that now I can finally look to the future. I never was able to do that before. Where before there was only blackness, I hope now the light will finally filter through,” Ms Hegarty said.

“I hope to just live a normal life, find things that make me happy and finally put what happened to me in the past behind me.”

The Rape Crisis Centre is on freephone 1800 77 88 88

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