A 63-year-old Kilkenny man who sexually assaulted nine young girls over a 21-year period has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Edwin Curry, from Kilkenny city, had been charged with 189 counts of indecent assault.

Curry repeatedly assaulted nine young girls between the ages of five and fifteen in the years 1964 to 1985.

Kilkenny Circuit Court, sitting in Carlow, had heard in November that Curry had lured the girls into a shed behind his parents’ house using sweets, kittens and money.

He repeatedly assaulted them there on a daily and weekly basis.

Four of the victims told the court today of the impact the assault has had on their lives. They said their childhood had been robbed, that they were living a nightmare and the abuse had affected every aspect of their lives.

One of the women described Curry has a cold calculating evil person. His defence team said Curry had an aberration in his mind and that he was sorry for what he had done.

Judge Olive Buttimer said she took account of what had been said in his account but said sexual abuse of children over a 20-year period was a most serious offence.

She sentenced Curry to two years in jail on each count up to a certain period and four years on each count for a following period.

The sentences are to run concurrently and Curry is to be put on the sex offenders list for life.