Four Áras Attracta workers get community service sentences

FOUR Áras Attracta workers have been sentenced at Castlebar Court today to community service and each ordered to pay compensation to their victims.

Charges of assault against the accused arose from filming at Bungalow Three of the Áras complex in Swinford carried out covertly by RTÉ’s Investigations Unit.

Joan Gill, 62, of Dublin Road, Swinford, who pleaded guilty to three counts of assault in the sitting room area of Bungalow Three on various dates in November 2014, was given 240 hours of community service in lieu of a prison sentence and was ordered to pay a total of €1,500 to two of her victims.

Christina Delaney, 35, Seefin, Lissatava, Hollymount, Joan Walsh, 42, Carrowilkeen, Curry, Co. Sligo, and Kathleen King, 56, Knockshanvally, Straide, Foxford, were each given 120 hours of community service in lieu of a prison sentence and were each ordered to pay €600 to their respective victims.

Before concluding the hearing Judge Mary Devins said she had a number of comments to make about the case.

She said this case relied solely on the undercover video evidence and it was only in the past few weeks while watching the footage she realised the real meaning of public service broadcasting.

Judge Devins said it was clear from watching the video evidence there were many other staff members present at various times when the assaults were being committed and that these people also had questions to answer.

The case is due before Judge Devins again on April 8 when management at Áras Attracta will provide details on how the compensation money is to be spent on the individual victims and how they will benefit from it.