Handed Down By His Honour Judge Desmond Hogan


Some sentences from Judge Desmond Hogan, who presided over the Anthony Lyons sex assault case yesterday.

Child porn images – €1,000 fine.
In December 2004 Colum MacCormack, 36, from Artane, Dublin pleaded guilty to having 539 child porn images at his home. Det Gda Martin Hogan told the court the images included those of children engaged in sexual acts. Justice Desmond Hogan fined MacCormack, who had no previous convictions, €1,000 and gave him a two-year suspended sentence.

Sex abuse of a child – two years
On July 29, 2011 serial sex abuser Fr Paul McGennis, 81, from Clonliffe Road, Dublin, who abused children for more than 30 years, was sentenced to six years with four suspended by Judge Desmond Hogan. The court heard from one victim, a 42-year-old woman, who was just 11 when he started abusing her every fortnight over four years.She told Judge Hogan how she tried to die by suicide twice because of the abuse.Judge Hogan said said McGennis was in the twilight of his years and had recognised his wrongs, albeit late in the day.
He said he was suspending the final four years on the condition McGennis followed rules set out by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, including not celebrating Mass publicly or having contact with minors or victims. Judge Hogan said: “It may seem odd for a court to intrude into certain religious matters . . . but it appears to me all these conditions are conditions imposed to ringfence the defendant so that the likelihood of him having contact with minors is greatly diminished.”

Violent Attack – No sentence
Mark Cummins, 35, of St Teresa’s Gardens, Donore Avenue, Rialto walked free from court in January 2010 after he was convicted of a violent attack on Conor Shaw in April, 2006. Army corporal Mr Shaw, 34, suffered horrendous injuries, leaving him consigned to a desk job and suffering with non-stop headaches. Cummins had pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm on Easter Sunday, 2006, in Temple Bar and was given a four-year suspended sentence. Since the assault [Mr. Shaw] has led an inactive and painful life. Mr Justice Desmond Hogan said he didn’t wish to impose a custodial sentence because he believed Cummins was “unlikely to reoffend”. Mr Shaw suffered cranial and facial injuries and a depressed fracture of the frontal bone beneath his forehead. He underwent neuro-surgery and was hospitalised for five weeks after the “life-changing experience” which left titanium plates in his head.

Indecent Assault (7-year-old victim) – 2 years suspended
Dublin man Brian Casey, 60, from Swords, got a two-year suspended sentence after admitting to indecently assaulting a seven-year-old boy 34 years ago. Judge Desmond Hogan noted the amount of time that has passed since the offence. He also noted that Casey has no other convictions and that a psychological report put him at a low risk of reoffending.

Possession of Cannabis – 5 years suspended
Joanne Lyons, 33, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis for sale or supply. Lyons was interviewed at Blanchardstown Garda Station and said she knew it was illegal but she had loans from the credit union and some
other loan. Det Garda Kearney said she told gardai she had a bad year and had to repay a €20,000 loan but was sorry she got involved.The detective garda told the court she had no previous convictions. Judge Desmond Hogan said it was a very serious offence which would usually warrant 10 years imprisonment but said he’d impose less as she’d been living a chaotic life at the time and said it was most unlikely that she’d come before the courts again.  He handed down a five-year sentence to be suspended for five years.

Leaking confidential reports – 1 year suspended
Former detective sergeant Robert McNulty, 50, from Rathfarnham, Co Dublin has pleaded guilty to leaking the contents of a confidential report by the Dean Lyons Inquiry to a reporter. The court heard, in July 2006, McNulty was one of 15 individuals to receive a draft copy of the report into the circumstances surrounding the confession by drug addict Dean Lyons about the violent deaths of two women in Grangegorman in 1997.
Despite his confession, it subsequently emerged that Dean Lyons did not commit the killings. McNulty reached the end of a harrowing nine-year battle to clear his reputation yesterday when he received only a 12-month suspended sentence and a €5,000 fine for leaking details of a Government draft report to this newspaper. (Herald)

Fraud – 3 years (1 year suspended)
A Monk-turned stockbroker has been jailed for two years for fraudulently using clients’ money to trade on the stock market. Former Benedictine monk Stephen Pearson, 43, from North Esk, Glanmire, was a junior partner in W & R Morrogh, a 114-year-old firm, when he
used nearly 5m of clients funds to play the stock market. Judge Desmond Hogan yesterday sentenced him to three years at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, but suspended the final year, saying he had regard for the affect prison would have on him, his wife and his family.

Drink Driving Causing Death (victims – daughter, 6, and girl, 9) – 6 years (2 suspended)
A mother of four was yesterday jailed for four years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of her daughter and daughter’s friend. Eva Carberry, 6, died when her drink-driving mother lost control of her BMW car and crashed into an embankment outside Edgeworthstown, Longford, on July 26, 2007. Eva’s friend, Michaela Logan, 9, was pronounced dead at the scene. Yesterday, Longford Circuit Court heard harrowing details about the night Eva’s mother, Mary Carberry, 33, got so drunk that she “blacked out” and then got behind the wheel of her BMW and drove from Kildare to Longford. Mr Justice Desmond Hogan sentenced her to six years’ imprisonment with the final two years suspended. He also banned her from driving for life on the main charge of dangerous driving causing the deaths of two children and the serious bodily harm of two more.

Thanks TR

Sources: Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Irish Times, Wexford People, Irish Examiner

Sketch: Luca Cambiasi

38 thoughts on “Handed Down By His Honour Judge Desmond Hogan

  1. Tom Red

    *** Possession of cannabis – 10 Years (last 3 suspended)

    Michael Shannon, 45, was arrested in Dublin. Over 50kgs of cannabis, with a street value of almost €500,000, was seized.
    Malachy Boyle, 42, of Roslea, Fermanagh, was also arrested and charged

    The court was told that Michael Shannon, who has 33 previous convictions, had only just completed an eight year sentence for possession of drugs for sale or supply when he was arrested.

    Judge Desmond Hogan sentenced Malachy Boyle to 10 years in prison but he suspended the final three years.
    He sentenced Michael Shannon to 15 years in prison suspending the final three years.

    Doing so he said: “He got into it for the most basic of money and he is not a man who is unfamiliar with the courts or serious crime, I have little option but to regard him as a habitual offender.”


    1. Action Man

      That’s a little bit different than having enough for a few spliffs or being caught for the first time, and he was a repeat offender, probably deserved it in my view.

      However this does not excuse his other sentences. There is no consistency and it seems if you have enough money, you get a slapped wrist. Ridiculous, and he can’t be removed. I hope that this girl in the Anthony Lyons case pursues this further and appeals the sentence.

      1. Tom Red

        I’m not making any point. I’m just providing facts on his sentencing.

        The whole “money walks” angle doesn’t play out when you look at his other sentences.

        Though I do think his sentencing is too lenient. Especially for the violent assault.

        1. Tom Red

          The violent assault by the way was a 4 year suspended sentence, not “no sentence” as originally stated.

    1. Cian

      There’s a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence for drugs over €13k. The judge must give a minimum 10 year sentence, then lop bits off from that – for specific reasons [pleaded guilty, helped the police find the supplier etc.]

  2. bozo

    shite track record whatever way it is looked at.these guys are suppposed to be the very article of fair and balanced within the constraints of the law.I’m not seeing any of this here..ergo he should be jacked off the bench.he won’t be though.Irish life at the top is just rotten.

    1. yada yada yada


      The article would carry far more weight if it listed defendants who had re-offended. As it is you’ve just cherry picked some apparent light sentences without covering any of the relevant mitigating circumstances which would have led to the reduced sentences.

      1. Tom Red

        Search the net and add the other sentences here then. All the sentences here have links to the news reports they’re taken from, so I don’t know why you’re stating that mitigating circumstances aren’t listed.

        I looked up some of these sentences because of comments saying one law for the rich and another for the poor.

        However, if you look at these sentences (which, bar the first two, were the only ones I can find on the net) it shows that it’s not about “one law for the rich, one law for the poor”.

        1. yada yada yada

          Well, that’s true up to a certain point. But if he didn’t have 75k to give her it’s likely that he wouldn’t have had as much of his sentence reduced as he had (almost 85% btw)

          But my point wasn’t that it was one rule for the wealthy and another for the peasants. I was only agreeing that the judges’s mantra appeared to be ‘light sentencing’ with an apparent aversion to issuing custodial sentences.

          Also, I wasn’t quite sure what the point of the original post was as it just appeared to be a load of rulings with no conclusion posited.

          1. Tom Red

            I read the comments on the other article and noticed how the phrase “one law for the rich, another for the poor” and variations on the same were being used, so checked a little into it, very easy to do on the internet, and those were the cases I found (bar the first 2).

            People seem to shout about things without having any facts or figures behind them. Just like you said the above were “cherry picked”. No, they weren’t. That’s all that could be found by myself on the net. If you had done a quick search you would have seen that, but instead you made your assertion with no proof or figures to back it up.

            You also say “if he didn’t have 75k to give her it’s likely that he wouldn’t have had as much of his sentence reduced as he had”. Again, have you looked into it? Have you any figures to back that up? On what are you basing this claim?

            The post was originally a comment on the “Money Talks” posting so what I was doing was adding some facts into the conversation because I am interested in the replies of other people on broadsheet. They can be quite insightful and change your (by which I mean “my”) opinions on subjects.

            Blatantly coming out with an opinion as fact does nothing for a conversation except muddle and confuse the issue.

            Selectively editing information to support a particular bias or agenda does no one any favours.

            Let all the facts from all the different sources be made known and let the reader make up their own mind. People are free to express their own opinion, but if they’re going to state it as fact then they should be able to prove it is fact with a source at least.

          2. yada yada yada

            I don’t seem to be able to reply to your post directly for some reason so I’ll have to post my response here.

            1). There are many, many, many, many more judgements from that judge available online. If that’s all you could find you need more practice on the internet. Here’s one I found with very little effort. http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0124/burker.html

            So you have just cherry picked a few random judgements.

            2) The judge said himself in handing down the sentence that he had taken into account the fact that the defendant had, amongst other things, offered to compensate the victim. So it’s not my ‘claim’ that the 75k was a factor, it’s a fact that it was a factor. Go read the judgement for yourself……..
            …taken from the link below……..”Judge Hogan said a custodial sentence was warranted but, having regard to the compensation order of €75,000 and other “mitigating factors”, he suspended all but six months of that term.”


            And 3). Your original post doesn’t mention anything about it being a piece on the ‘money talks’ rhetoric. It’s not framed at all. It’s just a series of random judgements you found with little, if any meaning given as to why you posted them. There’s no opening assertion and no conclusion – like I said, it’s just a few sentences you found.

          3. Tom Red

            In reply to yada yada yada (on July 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm) [The whole reply function on this is a bit hard to work out alright]

            1) I searched google for “justice desmond hogan”, collated all the sentences from the results returned and posted them up. Cherry picking is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.

            I didn’t do this so you’re still wrong, I am not cherry picking.

            But thank you for the lesson in online searching. Sincerely, like I said, you learn a bit from reading other people’s comments.

            2) Yup, I should have checked what the judge said. The link is appreciated.

            3) I don’t need to make any assertions or conclusions as I’m adding facts to the conversation, not opinion or bias. You can call my searching skills into question, as you quite rightly did, but all results I found where included. I was asked by a broadsheet member if my post could be used as a new article (or thread, whatever the term is) and I said yes. The framing of the article is for Ewok to explain.

            You say there is no meaning given as to why I posted them. I thought that if a man is to be judged on his actions, it’s better to look at more than just one of his actions before passing sentence (excuse the pun).
            I thought the conversation would maybe start assessing sentencing in general and paricularly if harsher sentences are handed out for crimes against property rather when compared with crimes against people.

            There have indeed been some other interesting points raised. For instance, the possession of marajuana receiving 10 year sentences with (3 and 2 years suspended). Is it simply a case that first time offences are treated leniently but repeat offenders are dealt with severely? Which has been called into question by people saying that people with a list of offences as long as your arm get off lightly too, but that’s anecdotal so far, no one has supplied a source of fact to back this up.
            Could it be that more mandatory sentencing laws need to be put in place?

            You’re more than welcome to add more links to other cases of sentencing by Justice Desmond Hogan. I’m not being paid to research for Broadsheet or signing up to any Broadsheet political agenda, so I gave all the info I found after collating it and inserted links to the sources so people could read it for themselves if they so desired. I wasn’t going to spend hours preparing a compendium.

            I don’t think you need to have “picked” a side before pooling and assessing information. I prefer to view all the info first and then make a decision. Also, I’m prepared to change that opinion if new info comes to light.

            So basically why did I post up the sentences? To see what the other posters had to say and consider these views.
            Why is there no conclusion? Because I haven’t come to one yet.

  3. Prada Meinhof

    The point of Broadsheet posting this is what, exactly? Seems the good justice is doing his job and an even-handed distribution of sentencing across offences and members of society.

    1. rockpig

      I applaud Broadsheet for posts such as these.It’s good that we’re reminded of some of the stuff that goes on in our justice system, even if it does make us want to take our anger out on a wall, De Niro Raging Bull style. The good justice. Good one.

  4. mickmick

    It’s very hard to critices a judge’s sentencing unless you’ve sat in court and heard the testimony and read the reports that he/she has. I’m also sure a trawl of google would also find some harsh sentences he’s handed out for various crimes. Each case is different and sentencing requires alot of thought, not knee-jerk, throw the book at them popularity winning prison terms.
    This kind of post is straight from the Herald/Oirish Mail/Liveline school of journalism.

      1. fairyqueen

        When there’s no suggestion of him reoffending in 34 years I think genuinely is a case of ‘unlikely to reoffend’

        1. Zynks

          Is this a justice or a prevention system? Sure, we want to know the threat people pose to society going forward, but the sentences are in principle related to the crime committed, and from that point, a 2 year suspended sentence for abusing a child is a joke.

  5. Kat8

    I think it depends on what you think the purpose of prison is. If it’s about retribution for crimes committed then this judge is going to disappoint. Fair enough especially if you or someone you know is the victim or have ever been a victim of crime.
    If it’s about reintegrating someone into society and a law abiding productive life then you’ll probably find him progressive and level headed.

    1. Fergd

      Think you’ll find letting away someone who downloads images of children being forced to have sex with a €1,000 fine does not count as an effort to “reintegrate” them into society.
      Also there is no evidence that letting someone who beats a man within an inch of his life away with no custodial sentence could be classified as a way of preventing this happening again. In fact there is lots of evidence to the contrary.

      1. Kat8

        If someone is genuinely remorseful and very unlikely to reoffend is prison going to prevent them from committing more crimes that they weren’t going to commit anyway?
        It would certainly add to their punishment though which maybe they deserve.

        1. Lan

          All abusers can act remorseful for the length of a trial, that doesn’t mean they won’t commit the crime again

      1. Kat8

        Look I’m not defending/condemning the judge’s decisions – like mickmick said it’s very hard to properly criticise a sentencing unless you’ve actually heard all the testimony and read all the reports that he/she has. My comment really is that some people see it as retribution/punishment/rehabilitation etc and your reaction to the sentence handed down yesterday and others depends a lot on your view of the purpose of prison.
        On the deterrent part though I think/hope that for most people the threat of prison isn’t the only thing that deters them from downloading child porn.

  6. droid

    10 years minimum sentence for intent to supply cannabis, and no minimum sentence for rape. That’s an indictment of our justice system right there.

  7. Kolmo

    10 years for relatively harmless weed?
    1000 euro fine for child rape – seriously?
    difficult to understand.

  8. PeteS

    Was in court a few years ago to give evidence after myself and a mate were nearly mugged (there was a scuffle and we ran) in Temple Bar. As it happens, the duty Garda knew my father who was accompanying me to the hearing. He said the whole system was a massive headache for the Gardai. He said if they ever do manage to get a conviction (even the guy who was on trial had 48 previous charges), the judges hand out extremely lenient sentences. He says they’re so far removed from society, living the lavish lifestyle that they haven’t a clue as to what’s going on on the street. I know, I sound like a prat the way I’m phrasing it, but the sentiment is true. The judges we have in this country seem to be completely naive when it comes to passing judgement. Smaller crimes are heavily punished while corruption which is rife in this country, is just passed off as petty crime. It’s a joke.

  9. nev

    you know how else you “ringfence” a pervert so the “likelihood of him having contact with minors is greatly diminished”?? put him in prison for the rest of his life!

  10. Bazzamatta

    1,256 previous offences. Up for murder. Confession “I’m glad I killed the fucker.” Judge presiding D. Hogan. Sentence: Life imprisonment with no possibility of parole, suspended as the convicted is a low risk of reoffending and, in a way, is a vicitim, too.

  11. Eve

    Seriously, what are the odds?? Judge Desmond Hogan lenient on sex offenders, or sex offender Desmond Hogan receiving a lenient sentence:

    ‘THE head of the Kerry Rape and Sexual Abuse centre has harshly criticised the leniency of the sentence imposed on writer Desmond Hogan who this week received a two-year suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a Kerry teen with special needs in 2006.’

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