Seamus Robert (61) of Tallaght Cross West, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty to a sample count of indecent assault and one count of unlawful assault at an address in Dublin on dates between 1982 and 1988.
He was in his early twenties while the girls were aged from around six at the time of the offending, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.
One woman who was abused by Robert, and who can't be named, told the court that her “happy, untroubled life” was turned upside down in the wake of the abuse. She said the abuse hampered her emotional, social and educational development.
“I have lost count of the times I have grieved for the person I could have been,” the woman said in her victim impact statement.
“I was six years old when I went to prison. Not the type with bars and guards, but rather a prison in my head,” the woman told the court.
Garda Simon Halpin told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that Robert enticed the girl into his home on several occasions to play with his kittens before bringing her up to his bedroom and sexually assaulting her.
The woman went to gardaí in 2016 and named her childhood friend as a possible witness.
When approached by gardaí, this woman said she was also abused by Robert when she was young.
Robert pleaded guilty just before his trial was due to start, the court heard. He has no previous convictions.
Fiona Murphy SC, defending, said Robert wished to apologise to his victims. She said he committed the offences at a time when he was unemployed and not in a good place. He went on to work in the homeless sector for 20 years, she told the court.
Sentencing him today, Judge Martin Nolan said Robert's actions were “grossly reprehensible”.
“He took advantage of two innocent children for his own sexual gratification and whom he enticed to see kittens,” the judge said.
He handed down a five year sentence.