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Guilty verdicts Father, mother, aunt and her husband found guilty of number of charges in child sexual abuse trial

The jury is continuing to deliberate on a further 37 charges including charges of neglect against the children's parents

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Four of five family members have been found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of sexually abusing three children.

The children's mother, father, maternal aunt and her husband were found guilty of 40 of the counts against them on Friday following a 10 week trial in Croke Park.

The jury returned the unanimous guilty verdicts after 18 hours and 40 minutes of deliberating. They also returned one not guilty verdict in relation to the children's 27-year-old uncle.

They are continuing to deliberate on the remainder of the 78 counts, including further sexual abuse allegations and allegations the parents wilfully neglected their children. They have been advised by the judge that they can return a majority verdict on the outstanding counts.

The five family members, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were accused of sexually abusing three children between 2014 and 2016. The accused are the parents, aunt and uncles of the children. They range in ages from 27 to 56 and live in various locations in Munster.

The parents are also accused of child neglect of five of their children while the father is accused of mistreating three of them by giving them medication. The children were aged between one and nine at the time of the offending.

Extensive reporting restrictions are in place to protect the welfare and identities of the children, who were taken into care in 2016.

The jury found the children's 56-year-old father guilty of 15 of the 31 counts against him. They found him guilty of raping and sexually assaulting his two sons and daughter, allowing others to engage in sexual activity with them and sexually exploiting his oldest son.

The jury found the 34-year-old mother guilty of 15 of the 25 counts against her. They found her guilty of sexually assaulting her two sons and daughter, allowing other people to engage in sexual activity with them and of sexually exploiting her oldest son.

The mother's sister – the children's 35-year-old aunt – was found guilty of all three counts of sexually assaulting her niece and nephew.

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This woman's husband, the children's 49-year-old uncle, was found guilty of seven of the 10 counts against him. He was found guilty of sexually assaulting the three children, raping the girl and sexually exploiting the oldest boy.

The jury acquitted the children's 27-year-old uncle of one of the nine counts against him. They found him not guilty of sexually assaulting his niece.

All of the offences are alleged to have taken place in Munster on unknown dates between August 18, 2014 and April 28, 2016.

None of the defendants made any reaction when the verdicts were handed down.

The case against two other women – the children's uncle's 32-year-old partner and their 57-year-old grandmother – was withdrawn during the trial by direction of the judge.

The jury continues to deliberate.

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