SUSPENDED SENTENCE FOR BRIEGE MEEHAN OVER STEP-DAUGHTER ASSAULT

Briege Meehan gets suspended sentence after pleading guilty to abusing her stepdaughter Mary

Briege Meehan gets suspended sentence after pleading guilty to abusing her stepdaughter Mary

A former Sinn Féin councillor who admitted abusing her stepdaughter 34 years ago has been given a suspended prison sentence for child cruelty and assault.

Meehan, 66, from Elmfield Street in Belfast, was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years at Belfast Crown Court on Friday morning.

The victim was her step-daughter Mary Meehan.

Last month, Briege Meehan pleaded guilty to a charge of child cruelty and two of assault.

Seven charges of sexual abuse remain on the books but were not proceeded with.

She denies other allegations of neglect and abuse that were not put before the court.

The offences allegedly occurred between July 1979 and October 1980 at a time when she was the girlfriend of Martin Meehan, while he was on remand in prison on IRA kidnapping charges.

Briege Meehan is the widow of the prominent republican, Martin Meehan.

In 2001, she was elected as the first Sinn Féin member of Newtownabbey Borough Council in County Antrim.

Mary Meehan comforted by family relatives outside Belfast Crown Court on Friday morning

Mary Meehan comforted by family relatives outside Belfast Crown Court on Friday morning

She was suspended by the party after she was interviewed by police about allegations made by her stepdaughter, Mary, in February 2009.

Martin Meehan, who died in 2007, was the first person to be convicted of membership of the Provisional IRA.

He also served as a Sinn Féin councillor.

 

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