Mon, 02 Oct 2023

CO CORK, Ireland - A former Naval instructor from Cork who hit a recruit on the buttocks, winked at her, and said, "You're lucky it wasn't 14 or 15 years ago," has been placed on probation and ordered to be on good behavior.

Derek Nagle, 56, resigned from the Navy following the assault, which was previously heard in Cork District Court to have occurred at lunchtime on March 1st, 2022. He later pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Seana O'Connor at Haulbowline Naval Base.

The court was told earlier this year that Naval Officer Seana O'Connor was talking to a colleague in the Billets room, the male living accommodation at the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Co Cork when the incident occurred. Ms. O'Connor waived her right to remain anonymous.

Mr. Nagle, of Kilmona in Grenagh, Co Cork, served in the Navy for 37 years before resigning.

Inspector Anne Marie Guiney testified in court that Ms. O'Connor was chatting with a male recruit when Leading Seaman Nagle entered the room and yelled at her. "What the f**k are you doing here?"

According to Inspector Guiney, Ms. O'Connor apologized and said she was getting something. Mr. Nagle sat beside her on the bed and began yanking her right arm back and forth while clutching her shirt.

"He pushed her forward with his right hand behind her back. He placed his other hand on the back of her neck, pushing her forward so that her face was facing the floor. Her backside had come off the bed, and she was half-standing with her top half bent over. Officer Nagle then slapped her across the left side of her buttocks, saying, 'I thought you liked it rough, O'Connor,' and repeated this several times.

She collapsed to her knees as a result of the slap. She then saw him pick up a water bottle and assumed he was about to pour it on her. 'F*** off, that's enough now,' he said.

Then he winked at her and said, 'You're lucky it wasn't 14 or 15 years ago.'

Judge Marian O'Leary previously heard that many other Naval recruits witnessed the incident. The victim informed a higher-ranking officer of what had occurred, and a military police investigation was launched.

Ms. O'Connor made a victim impact statement about the incident on February 28th at Cork District Court. She did not appear in court.

Ms. O'Connor, who is in her twenties, said during her victim impact statement that she should be happy with the outcome of the case but that she was 'broken' by what Nagle had done to her.

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