Northern Ireland

Briege Meehan gets suspended sentence for child cruelty

A former Sinn Féin councillor who admitted abusing her stepdaughter 34 years ago has been given a suspended prison sentence for child cruelty and assault.

Briege Meehan, from Elmfield Street in Belfast, was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.

The victim was her step-daughter Mary Meehan.

In court in June, Briege Meehan, 66, pleaded guilty to a charge of child cruelty and two of assault.

Seven charges of sexual abuse remain on the books but were not proceeded with.

She denies other allegations of neglect and abuse that were not put before the court.

The offences allegedly occurred between July 1979 and October 1980 at a time when she was the girlfriend of Martin Meehan, while he was on remand in prison on IRA kidnapping charges.