A Galway man has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half-years in prison after being found guilty of repeatedly raping his foster sister.

The 29-year-old man, who was convicted following a trial at the Central Criminal Court last year, was also jailed for the rape of two other young girls who were also fostered by his parents.

The victims were aged between six and ten years at the time of the abuse, while the accused was aged between 14 and 18.

In victim impact statements read to the court, the women spoke of the devastating and long lasting effects the abuse had on them.

The accused had pleaded not guilty to a number of charges relating to the rape and sexual abuse of the three victims.

Following a 9-day trial, he was convicted in July last year of a total of 21 charges of rape and sexual assault on the first victim.

He was also found guilty on one charge of raping each of the other two girls.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty sentenced the man to seven-and-a-half-years for the rape charges and concurrent terms of six-and-a-half and five years for the remaining charges.

He suspended the final year on strict conditions.

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