By Fiona Ferguson

A 65-year-old County Waterford man has admitted the sexual abuse of three children.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the offences following a day of legal argument after a jury had been sworn in for his trial.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and 13 counts of indecent assault of one girl at locations in Co Waterford and Co Tipperary on dates between 1983 and 1987.

The child was aged between 12 and 15 years old at the time of the offences.

The accused man also admitted one count of indecent assault against a second girl on a date between 1979 and 1981, while she was aged between 13 and 14 years old.

He further pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault of a third victim on dates between 1988 and 1991, while she was aged between nine and 12 years old.

Michael Delaney SC, told Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, that the guilty pleas were acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions on the basis that full facts would be given at the sentence hearing.

Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, asked that the man be allowed to remain on bail to deal with family and administrative matters. She said he knows he will be going into custody for a substantial time.

Mr Justice McCarthy set a sentence date of July 30th next when prosecution evidence and a plea in mitigation will be heard. He remanded the man on continuing bail until the sentence date.

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