Sunday 24 September 2017

Judge calls ex-priest predator in abuse case

Elaine Keogh

A FORMER priest who indecently assaulted two boys at a school he worked in was yesterday described as a "predator" who had engaged in serial abuse.

The 61-year-old accused had also been abused himself when he was a pupil in the same school, Dundalk circuit criminal court heard.

The now laicised man cannot be identified for legal reasons. He was jailed for 18 months.

He admitted six offences against one of the victims and one against the other.

The maximum penalty he could have faced was two years in jail.

The court heard both boys had been pupils at the school when the offences took place on dates in 1982, 1983 and 1984.

The six offences against the one pupil took place when he was aged between 12 and 14.

They involved the then priest masturbating the boy and telling him this would stop him from having to go to hospital to be circumcised and would prevent problems with him having sex later in life.

Grounds

The single offence against the other boy also related to him masturbating the then 13-year-old on the school grounds. The offence took place at a time when the boy was feeling sick.

Both victims had therapy and treatment to deal with the impact of the abuse, the prosecution said.

Passing sentence Judge Michael O'Shea said the accused had been in a "position of trust and authority" and added that his behaviour was "the act of a predator who was in a dominating position".

Irish Independent

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