Sex abuse claim is 'revenge' - ex-chaplain
Published 02/12/2016 | 02:30
A former Catholic priest being sued for alleged sexual abuse of a student in the school where he was chaplain has claimed revenge is the motivation behind the allegations, the High Court heard.
The man, who was a chaplain in the school in the south east, had denied at a school disciplinary hearing that sexual activity of any kind took place with the girl, the court heard. He denied her claims the activity took place in a number of places including at the girl's home when her parents were away, when she was babysitting, in the chaplain's office, or his car.
He told the disciplinary hearing that at one stage he pleaded with the girl to stop and rejected her by telling her to "f*** off". "I wanted to get out from under her clutches," he said.
The now 28-year old woman has sued, alleging between 2004 and 2007 she was repeatedly and wrongfully physically and sexually assaulted, falsely imprisoned and sexually abused and subjected to sexualised behaviour by the then-Catholic chaplain and teacher in her secondary school. She has also sued the school and the local bishop who deny the claims.
The woman has alleged that on a school trip overseas, when she was 16, the chaplain invited her and another student to sleep in his bed with him. The three of them spent the night together, she claimed.
A transcript of the disciplinary hearing against him at the school in October 2012 was read to the High Court yesterday.
The man, who left the priesthood a few years ago, said the motivation behind the allegations was "revenge for not going with her." He also said: "I see obsession all over this."
Referring to the school trip allegations, he said he let students use the shower attached to his room but it was in the context of returning after a day and being covered in dirt. "It had nothing to do with anything of a sexual nature," he said. On the allegation that the two students had been in his bed with him on the trip, he said he woke up and saw somebody beside him and he jumped out of the bed, opened the door and asked them to leave. At no point, he said, were they there at his invitation. He said he had brought students on about 40 trips and nothing like that happened before. He said he never had sex with the girl or any other student.
He also denied he told her he once went to the Phoenix Park and had sex with a woman in a car. "I have only been in the Phoenix Park three times, at the zoo, the papal mass and running a marathon," the transcript of the hearing stated.
The case continues before Mr Justice Robert Eagar.