A man who raped and sexually assaulted his youngest sister when he was a teenager has been jailed for three years.

The judge said 30-year-old Cian Farrelly, from Oldcastle in Co Meath, had destroyed the life of his sister Aoife, who is now 21 years old.

The abuse took place between December 2007 and May 2009, when she was seven and eight years old.

Ms Farrelly waived her anonymity as she said her brother had silenced her for too long.

She said she wanted other victims of such abuse to see her face and know that they could come forward.

The court heard that Farrelly was eight years older than his sister Aoife and she was often left in his care.

He raped her and sexually assaulted her on a number of occasions between 2007 and 2009. When she told her mother he made limited admissions in 2009 and the abuse did not recur.

She reported it to gardaí herself in 2020.

Ms Farrelly said she did not blame her parents but hated they did not understand the weight of his actions.

He had been allowed to slot back into her life and she had been trapped in the family home with him due to the Covid lockdown.

Farrelly pleaded guilty and Mr Justice Paul McDermott outlined the evidence today.

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He said this was the repeated rape and sexual assault of a very young child who was helpless, isolated and alone and involved a significant degree of violence.

The judge said Farrelly was well aware that what he was doing was wrong, but he had to have regard to Farrelly's young age and level of maturity at the time.

He said he could not sentence him as severely as he would if he had been an adult.

Mr Justice McDermott sentenced him to four years and six months, and suspended the final 18 months.

Outside the court, Ms Farrelly said no sentence would have been long enough for her brother.

But she said today was the start of the rest of her life.

Ms Farrelly said the abuse and its effects had been horrific, but she had been adamant she wanted to waive her anonymity.