'Provo' Marley jailed for raping boys at safe house during Troubles
An alleged "IRA man" who raped two teenage boys at a republican safe house over two decades ago has been jailed for seven years.
Seamus Marley (45), of Belfield Court, Stillorgan Road, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to charges of sexual assaulting and anally raping two boys in Co Louth in the early 1990s.
After a six-day trial the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on six counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape.
During the trial Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, said the two complainants lived in a large home owned by a "dedicated republican" and that it began to be used as a "safe house".
The jury heard that IRA volunteers would be taken to the house during the night and stay for a few days or weeks.
Detective Garda Seamus Nolan told Mr Gageby that Marley was one of these guests in the early 1990s and that he was welcomed into the family.
The older of the two victims said he woke up one night while on a camping trip to find Marley groping his genitals.
He said he woke up another night in the house to find Marley anally raping him.
After the incident Marley warned him off telling anyone, saying he "could be found dead on a Border road".
The younger victim was given alcohol by Marley and was groped or masturbated by him on three or four occasions.
On one occasion he awoke to find Marley "sucking his penis", Mr Gageby told the court.
Counsel said the victim was later anally raped by Marley in a tent near the house.
The court heard that Marley's father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries.
Det Gda Nolan told John Fitzgerald SC, defending, that gardai had no intelligence that the accused was involved in any paramilitary organisation until the complainants came forward with their allegations. Marley had no previous convictions.
In his victim impact statement, the older victim said he had spent the previous 27 years living in despair and looking over his shoulder.
He said he had finally reached the end of the tunnel and that his life now revolved around his wife and children.
"This is my life and I am taking it back," the man said.
The younger victim said that as the house was beside a graveyard they had "quiet neighbours, dead ones".
He said he had learned that it was "not the dead we should be afraid of, but the living".
He said Marley "preyed on me, groomed me, abused me and raped me".
He said that in the years subsequent to the abuse he suffered panic attacks and experienced a "deep depression so black" it was hard to put into words.
He said he ended up in hospital and called Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough to ask for help, but that after the call he knew he was on his own.
The man added that the "fabrication of stories" to discredit him made the trial so much harder. He said he loved his parents and didn't blame them for what Marley did to him.
Mr Fitzgerald said Marley had been in a relationship for 16 years and his partner had attended the trial throughout.
He handed in a letter from Marley's pastor which described him as being "an excellent Christian" who possessed a "charitable spirit".