A 42-year old accountant has been jailed for eight years for the "systematic and repeated" abuse to four young girls in his office over a ten-year period.
Liam Brien, from 3 Valley Park, Killimor, Co. Galway, has been found guilty by a jury following a six-day trial last month of 23 charges of sexual assault against the four girls which took place between 1996 and 2006 when they were aged between five and twelve years of age.
Brien had an office in his elderly parent's home on Main Street, Killimor, and used to abuse the girls while giving them turns at playing solitaire and golf games on his computer.
Three of the victims gave evidence today on the impact the abuse had on them while a Garda read out a statement on behalf of the fourth girl who was unable to attend court.
All said Brien had robbed them of their childhoods and they hated him for it.
They hated him for not admitting his guilt or ever expressing remorse and they hated themselves for not having the courage to stop him when they were children.
They said they finally got the courage to come forward and in doing so they stopped him from harming other children.
Judge Rory McCabe said it had been a difficult journey on a long road for the girls.
The offences took place, he said, at a time in their young lives when they could not have known what was going on was wrong. Offences of this nature, he said, take years to come to the surface if at all.
Bearing in mind the impact on the victims and the systematic and repeated nature of the offences, particularly in relation to one of the victims who had been repeatedly abused over a five-year period, Judge McCabe said a two year sentence was merited for each offence.
He imposed a two-year sentence in respect of one charge of sexual assault in relation to each victim, the sentences to run consecutively, bringing the total to eight years.
Two-year, concurrent sentences were imposed on the remaining eighteen charges.
Brien was also placed on the Sex Offerders Register.