A young woman from Letterkenny has waived her anonymity to identify the man who brutally attacked her at a gaming convention in 2015.
Dominique Meehan, aged 24, has spoken out after she was brutally attacked and raped by Dublin man Keith Hearne, aged 28, from Allenton Drive, Tallaght, three years ago.
Hearne was in court this week facing charges of two counts of rape, one count of oral rape and one count of falsely imprisoning the woman.
He has now been placed into custody after pleading guilty and is awaiting sentencing on June 19.
With Hearne behind bars, Ms Meehan has given up her anonymity to allow him to be identified to other members of the gaming community.
“I had fears that he could corner me while he was out on bail. But now that I know he is behind bars I can feel safe again,” she told Independent.ie.
“I felt I had to expose what he did because there are still a lot of people in the gaming world who follow him on Facebook and I wanted them to know who he is so that they could be safe.”
The Central Criminal Court heard that Ms Meehan was in a meeting room of a hotel in Blanchardstown on July 4, 2015 when the incident occurred. She was preparing a presentation for the convention when Hearne entered the room before locking the door and attacking her.
He tied the young woman’s hands together and raped her, threatening her life and saying that he would hurt her with a knife if she made any noise.
It was only when another worker at the gaming event entered the room that the attack stopped. Hearne was arrested by Gardai at the scene.
Hearne’s defence barrister that he had bipolar disorder and a range of mental heath conditions and was not on his medication when he carried out the attack. Mr Michael Bowman SC said that his act was inexcusable and he has since expressed extreme remorse.
The court heard that Ms Meehan became a depressed and angry person and struggled with mental health problems since the attack. She described how she has had to deal with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harming and suicidal thoughts. She said that she suffered sleepless nights with extreme fears that her attacker would return.
The young woman expressed her delight that Hearne is in custody and said that she feels safe at last. She described how she had gotten piercings and tattoos in an effort to take back ownership of her body. “He may go to prison, but I’m already there because of what he did,” she said.