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South Armagh man accused of child sex offences to face Crown Court

The defendant was released on continuing bail to appear before Newry Crown Court in January

A South Armagh man who is accused of a number of sexual offences involving children will face Crown Court proceedings in the New Year.

The 26-year-old appeared at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

Gary Keenan, of St John’s Park in Cullyhanna, is charged with causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in a sexual activity, four counts of causing or inciting a child over 13 to engage in a sexual activity, two counts of harassment and four counts of sexual assault.

As the charges were read, it was heard that these offences were alleged to have been committed on various dates between December 31, of 2016, and June 24, of 2019.

The particulars identify two alleged injured parties, namely one male and one female.

Appearing in court, Keenan made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence counsel made no contrary submissions.

District Judge Eamonn King said that he was satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer, and the defendant was released on continuing bail to appear before Newry Crown Court on January 12 for arraignment.

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