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Newport man thrown into bog naked after rape claim

Newport man thrown naked into bog by former friends after rape claim

A young Newport man was brought to a remote bog, stripped naked and thrown into the bog by two former friends who claimed he had raped a mutual friend of theirs a few days previously.
Brian O’Grady of Carrowsallagh, Newport, and Christopher Dyra of Mullane, Newport, both pleaded not guilty to several counts of assault and a single count each of false imprisonment against Damien Murray of Skirdagh, Newport, on May 27, 2011, while Dyra was also charged with assaulting Murray on May 31, 2011.
However, the court went into recess while Murray was being cross-examined and afterwards both defendants pleaded guilty to a charge of Coercion under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act. Judge Rory MacCabe adjourned sentencing until January 2013.

Accusations made
Damien Murray told the court that at about 9.30pm on Friday, May 27, 2011, he had parked on Main Street, Newport, and was walking to a pub to collect his father. He said that he saw  Christopher Dyra drive past in a car before turning around quickly and pulling up alongside him. Murray said he went to the car and saw Brian O’Grady in the front seat. He said he knew both very well and had shared a room in college with Brian for the previous six or seven months.
One of them told him to get into the car, and Murray said he didn’t consider it strange and got into the back seat. However, he said that when they drove down towards the Glenhest Road they started asking him what happened the previous Tuesday, adding ‘You raped her, didn’t you’.
Murray denied the accusation, admitting under cross-examination from Eoin Garavan, counsel for Dyra, instructed by Helena Boylan, that he had said ‘I rode her’ and, later, after continuous questioning, ‘She never said stop’.
Murray said that as they went onto the Glenhest Road, O’Grady told Dyra to pull in at the Burrishoole GAA pitch, to which Dyra replied ‘I know a better spot’.
He said that both Dyra and O’Grady continued saying that he had raped the girl, who wasn’t named in court. When he denied the accusation, they responded by asking Murray why the girl had made a statement to the Gardaí.
Murray told the court that about a mile out the road, Brian O’Grady turned around and hit him ‘two or three times’ in the face, which caused his nose to bleed. Further on, he said, O’Grady warned him not to go back to college in Galway that September and that he would have to leave Newport, as everyone would know him as a rapist.
Murray said he was pleading with Dyra to stop the car and that he was ‘very frightened’. He said that he handed over his wallet, keys and phone in the hope that Dyra and O’Grady would stop but that, as they came to the junction of the Glenhest to Castlebar road, O’Grady hit him ‘another three or four times’.

Bog beating
He then added that the defendants took him down a ‘dirty, bog road’ with no houses, and that Dyra was ‘lifting it’, doing 50 or 60 miles per hour down the road. He said that as they were going down the road, O’Grady and Dyra told him to take off his clothes. He added that he was ‘very scared’ and did what they said, adding that Brian O’Grady said not to take off his boxers but Christopher Dyra told him to take off his boxers too and he was completely naked in the back seat. He said he received another punch from O’Grady at this stage.
Murray said that the car came to a halt ‘about two miles’ down the road, and that there was no view of the main road from there. He said O’Grady went around to the back seat and took him out of the car and ‘threw me down into the sh*te and the turf beside the car’. He said that O’Grady hit him ‘three or four times’ and that his left ear was getting a lot of the punches.
He said that Dyra was watching and said ‘don’t be leaving marks on him. Easy Grady, easy’. He said that O’Grady then pushed his face into the dirt and one of them said ‘start eating the dirt’. He added that he got ‘two or three’ kicks in the ribs while he was on the ground. He said Dyra then told him to jump into a thorny fern bush whilst naked, but O’Grady said not to because he might run away. He said that the pair then left him there.

Returned to Newport
Murray said Dyra and O’Grady then returned ‘ten to 15 minutes later’ and drove him back to Newport. He said he received another ‘two or three hits’ on the way back into town. When they got back to Newport, he was brought to the Oratory on Barrack Street where he said two more men were waiting, Shane Moran and Jonathan Spelman, who both initially asked him if he had raped the girl.
Murray told the court that he was ‘so scared’ at this stage that he said yes as he thought they might leave him if he said so. He said that O’Grady subsequently pulled him out of the car and hit him ‘two or three times’ and that Moran was shouting at O’Grady to stop.
He described the fact that Shane Moran and Jonathan Spelman were going to testify that no assault took place in their presence as ‘lies’ and that ‘they are trying to protect the two lads (Dyra and O’Grady)’.
Murray said that he then got his clothes and belongings back and that Moran and Spelman helped him to his car. Then, he said, on the Glenhest Road on his way home Moran pulled him over and cleaned him up with a scarf and water from a puddle and gave him his Louisburgh GAA jersey, as, Murray said, his own white hoody was ‘covered in blood’.
He said when he eventually got home and showered, he went into his parents and broke down crying. He said his nose was bleeding, both ears were swelled and his eyes were ‘blackened’.
The court also heard of another assault, in which Murray accused Dyra of assaulting him at Glenhest Rovers soccer training the following Tuesday, May 31.

Sentencing adjourned
Under cross-examination from Eoin Garavan, Murray said the reason for the delay in reporting the incidents to the Gardaí – he first made contact on June 11 – was that the rape allegation was foremost in his mind. Mr Garavan said that Dyra and O’Grady would say to the court that when Murray said he had ‘rode’ the girl, he said it in a triumphalist way, which Murray denied.
The court also heard that Murray subsequently sent a text to Dyra to meet him at a shed near Dyra’s house to ‘try and get it sorted’. Murray told the court that he told Dyra he ‘would not go to the cops’ if the girl accusing him of rape ‘admitted that it didn’t happen’.
At this stage, Judge Rory MacCabe acceded to a prosecution application to send the jury away due to a matter arising. After lunch the prosecution said that both accused had agreed to plead guilty to a charge of coercion, and that sentencing would take place next January.