Michael Byrne sentenced to four years

Byrne was described by the judge as a “one-time pillar of the community who was guilty of revolting and disgusting crimes.”

Michael Byrne, the paedophile former teacher from Arklow, has been sentenced to four years for the abuse of local man Cormac Walsh.

Byrne (76), from Templerainey, was convicted in September 2013 for abuse dating back to the 1970s, when Mr Walsh was a teenager.

Speaking to TV3’s 5.30 News yesterday, Mr Walsh said: “I’m delighted. I’m overwhelmed.  I was very fearful that he was going to get a suspended sentence, which I thought would have been completely unjust.

“I think the judge very rightly gave him a custodial sentence.”

Handing down the sentence in Bray courthouse yesterday, the judge described Byrne’s crimes as “cold and calculating, revolting and disgusting” and said that the effects on Mr Walsh had been “catastrophic.”

Referring to the sentencing Mr Walsh said: “That was my vindication. That he has now stood up in a public place and said ‘yes, I did this to Cormac Walsh.’”

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