herald

Monday 16 September 2019

Petrol bomb attack on city home of convicted rapist

  • Locals' concern at sex attacker's behaviour

  • Notorious criminal refuses to co-operate with gardai

Kiernan’s house at Whitehall, with the local school in the background
Kiernan’s house at Whitehall, with the local school in the background

Gardai have launched a major investigation after a petrol bomb was thrown through a window at the home of one of the capital's most notorious sex offenders.

Our exclusive photos show fire damage to the property in Whitehall, north Dublin, which is occupied by Alan Kiernan (54).

Kiernan is a convicted rapist who was later convicted of the unlawful carnal knowledge of a 15-year-old girl in a separate case.

Sources have revealed that Kiernan is "completely refusing to co-operate" with the arson investigation, which is being led by Santry gardai.

Damage

Officers were called to the scene of the petrol bomb attack shortly after 1am on Sunday as Dublin Fire Brigade personnel put out the fire, which caused major damage to the front of the property.

Last night, local sources said that Kiernan's behaviour had been causing concern for people in the street in recent months.

"He has been letting a number of heroin addicts use his home and people are concerned about that," a source said.

"These serious drug users - who are mostly young women - are often in his house at all hours of the night and day.

"A lot of local people want him out of the area because of the terrible crimes that he has committed."

No motive for Sunday morning's bomb attack has been established and there have been no arrests in the case.

Convicted rapist Kiernan lives just 15 metres from the Holy Child National School in Whitehall and his presence in the area has been causing concern for years.

In 2014, it emerged that he was involved in a number of clashes with local teens over his sick past, which resulted in threats of violence against him.

However, Sunday morning's incident is the most serious since he was released from his latest jail sentence.

In May 2005, Kiernan was jailed for three years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which heard that the convicted rapist responded to a text message sent accidentally by a 15-year-old girl and then started a sexual relationship with her.

Kiernan pleaded guilty to unlawful carnal knowledge of the girl between December 1, 2001, and December 31, 2002, and criminal damage to a vehicle on December 1, 2001.

The court heard that the girl tried to send a text message to her mother, but sent it to Kiernan, as his number differed by one digit from her mother's.

She did not know Kiernan, but he responded and they communicated for some months. He arranged to meet near her home, outside Dublin.

Kiernan and the girl were undressed together in Kiernan's car at a shopping centre when a car pulled in nearby.

Kiernan got out and argued with the driver, who left to go shopping, only to return to find his four tyres slashed and a scrape down the side of the car.

The driver complained to gardai and CCTV footage of the event was located, from which gardai identified Kiernan, and suspected he was with an underage girl.

The girl was contacted by gardai and she revealed the relationship with Kiernan.

She said he never admitted to then being 37 years of age.

Jail

Judge Yvonne Murphy sentenced Kiernan to three years in jail for unlawful carnal knowledge and to 18 months for the criminal damage, which she suspended on condition he compensate the car owner.

Kiernan was sentenced to seven years for rape of a mildly disabled 22-year-old woman in 1991.

The woman claimed she gave no consent and that while he was having intercourse with her he took photographs with a video camera. Kiernan alleged the woman had consented and he denied raping or indecently assaulting her.

This conviction was thrown out and there was a retrial. Kiernan was convicted again and received a five-year sentence, which was appealed and suspended in 1998.

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