Pictured: Meat factory monster Timothy ‘Tony’ Halpin, jailed over sex assaults
“I will never forgive him for what he did to me or the other girls”
This is the first picture of meat factory molester Timothy ‘Tony’ Halpin, who had preyed on four teenage girls while working at a food-processing plant over a 10-year-period.
The image shows retired Wexford factory foreman Halpin (72), the founder of Bunclody AFC soccer club, relaxing on a trip to Madrid in 2021.
But, the predator is now beginning a two-year sentence behind bars after victim Breda Parle Breslin shattered 37 years of silence and went to gardaí to complain – armed with a list of names of other potential victims.
“I didn’t just do it for myself,” Breda told the Sunday World this week.
“I did it for every girl that he ever indecently assaulted.
“It took me 37 years before I had the courage to go to the gardaí. But I felt great after doing it.
“I felt as if I had won the Lotto after I walked out of that garda station; that I was taking back control from the man who ruined my life.”
Appearing before Wexford Circuit Court last week, Judge Martin Nolan was told that Halpin, who worked as a foreman/supervisor at the Slaney Foods meat factory in Clohamon, had pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault on four separate women.
The first offence dated back to 1979 and the last occurred 10 years later in 1989.
The court was told that Breda had begun working in the box-room, where cardboard boxes were assembled for the meat, in 1979.
Then aged 19, she was on her own there when Halpin entered and grabbed her by the breasts and touched her groin area over her clothes.
Several days later, he again touched her groin area and pushed against her, grabbing her by the breasts.
He came at her at least three more times, on one occasion attempting to kiss her.
He was in his late twenties at the time.
The second victim of the attacks was Geraldine Hall Dunne, who began working at the factory in June of 1981 when she turned 16.
The court heard that she was working in the box-room when Halpin came up behind her, putting his arms around her waist and holding her tight.
She pushed him off and grabbed a sweeping brush which she used to hit the defendant across the back.
The third victim was also 16 when Halpin began to make sleazy comments to her about her body.
Over a period that stretched to years, he would put his hand on her backside, grope her breasts outside her clothing and try to kiss her.
She told gardaí that he would stick his tongue down her throat, though she never encouraged his advances in any way.
A fourth victim, Helen Rooney, turned 16 in September of 1989 and around that time was asked to work in the box-room one day, where she too was indecently assaulted by Halpin.
“He had no respect for the girls working there,” Breda told us this week.
“He totally abused his position. I will never forgive him for what he did to me or the other girls.
“And that’s why I spoke up.
“I felt that I was finally standing up to the man that ruined my life.
“And he did ruin my life.
“My marriage broke down after less than 20 years.
“Before my daughter’s Leaving Certificate, I took an overdose because I just wanted the pain and the shame to go away.
“I will never forgive him for what he did to me, what he put me through.
“He made me feel dirty.
“I wore baggy clothes for years so men wouldn’t notice me.
“I’ve been on tablets for depression for the last 30 years and I have panic attacks.
“And I’m fighting that every day.
“Even now, there are days I can’t even get out of bed and that’s all because of him.”
At last week’s sitting, Garda Sharon Hanlon said that she first spoke with Halpin about the allegations in September of 2018.
His initial response was to deny everything, but he eventually signalled that no jury would be required and guilty pleas were tendered.
Sentencing, Judge James McCourt said he could not escape the consequences of his crimes committed against women who did nothing wrong but simply turned up to carry out their jobs.
What happened in the box-room of the factory at Clohamon was an abuse of trust which extended more than 10 years, he said.
It merited a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence, with the closing six months suspended.
Halpin’s name was added to the register of sex offenders.
In her victim impact statement, Geraldine Hall Dunne, who was molested by Halpin in 1981, said that the experience left her with low self-esteem and feeling ugly.
She described how she now cannot cope with anyone being behind her.
And she said that her first instinct when she enters a room is to figure out an escape route from it.
The legacy of the indecent assault included a huge effect on her marriage, which eventually broke up.
She never told her husband why she was as she was.
“I hope no-one else has to live such a life of fear,” she said concluding her statement.
Speaking with this newspaper on Friday, Geraldine said: “Seeing him sent to jail for what he did to us made me very happy.
“Justice was done and I’m elated with what he got. We all wanted him to do time.”
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