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viral clip Trinity College removes video of convicted sex offender giving safety advice to students

The clip, where Brendan Leahy gives health and safety tips to students and staff, went viral following his conviction.


Trinity College have removed a YouTube video of a university worker giving health and safety advice to students after he was convicted of a sex attack.

Brendan Leahy was convicted yesterday of sexually assaulting an American tourist at Kehoe's Pub on South Anne Street in the summer of 2018.

Leahy (54), of Fenian Street, Dublin 2, received a suspended sentence for sexually assaulting his Airbnb guest after taking the woman and her fiancé on a historic pub tour in Dublin.

Following his conviction, a video where Leahy can be seen giving health and safety advice to students and staff quickly went viral and was widely shared on social media.

The clip had been uploaded onto Trinity College's official YouTube account in July 2020.

In the video, entitled ‘Working Towards a Safe Reopening: Staff returning on campus’ , Leahy offers advice and tips for the safe return of staff to the college in September.

He introduces himself by saying: “Hello, my name is Brendan Leahy and I am the head of Facilities and Services here in Trinity.

“Plans are well underway for the return to work on campus - we are gearing up for the next phases of resumption of activities and the start of teaching on the 28th of September.

“Health and safety of our students and staff is extremely important and we have put certain measures in place to ensure our campus is as safe as possible for the college community.”


When it was brought to the attention of Trinity authorities that the video was available online, a spokesperson said the “video featuring the Head of Estates and Facilities..the page on which the video appeared has been removed."

In Dublin District Court, Judge John Hughes imposed a three-month sentence, suspended on condition Leahy completes a sex offenders education course, pays a €1,000 fine and gives another €1,000 in compensation to his victim.

During his trial, the court heard how Leahy held the woman from behind and repeatedly pushed his front into her after he offered to show her something in the pub.


Brendan Leahy

Brendan Leahy

Brendan Leahy

"There was some premeditation, I would call it a devious element," Judge Hughes said.

Leahy absented the woman from her partner, took her around a screen and "took his opportunity then to self-gratify himself", the judge said.

He imposed a three-month sentence but suspended it on condition Leahy completes a sex offenders education course, pays a €1,000 fine and gives another €1,000 in compensation to his victim.

He was also ordered not to provide Airbnb services again.

The court heard the sexual assault had a "profound effect" on the victim.

Garda Ruth Finnegan told Judge Hughes the woman and her partner had been staying in Leahy's spare bedroom, which he was using for Airbnb.

He took the couple on a tour of historic Dublin pubs, got drunk and offered to show the woman the hatch area in the snug at Kehoe's.

Garda Finnegan said that "when the injured party stepped inside the area the accused came behind her, grabbed her waist and thrust into her, four or five times".

CCTV footage was shown in court, and Garda Finnegan said the attack lasted six-and-a-half seconds.

Later that night, the woman and her partner went to Pearse Street garda station and reported the incident.

Gardaí accompanied them to Leahy's apartment so they could get their belongings.

The woman did not have to return to Ireland to give evidence because Leahy had pleaded guilty.

The divorced father-of-two had no previous criminal convictions and cooperated with the investigation, the court heard.

Two months later, he went to Pearse Street garda station and explained he had no recollection of the incident because he was too drunk.

He identified himself on the video footage from the pub.

Leahy could have faced a 12-month prison term and a €5,000 fine in the district court.

In a mitigation plea, defence solicitor Ruth Walsh said Leahy was remorseful and "absolutely devastated".

The court heard he was willing to engage in restorative justice programmes and would donate money to women's aid organisations and charities to avoid a conviction.

Judge Hughes said there had to be a deterrent as he recorded a conviction.

He imposed the three-month sentence which was suspended on condition Leahy does not re-offend within the next 12 months and attends education, as directed by the Probation Service.

Judge Hughes said that while the compensation order was part of the sentencing, it was not indicative of the level of damage the victim would have been entitled to in a civil court.

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