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Bail relaxed for son of 'singing priest'

THE actor son of "singing priest" Fr Michael Cleary was yesterday remanded on continuing bail over charges of assault and cannabis possession.

Ross Hamilton appeared at Dublin District Court for a third time since he was charged.

Mr Hamilton (33), of Whitworth Road, Drumcondra, Dublin, is accused of assault causing harm to a male, breach of the peace and being intoxicated in public at Prospect Way, Glasnevin, Dublin, on October 1, 2010.

He also faces charges for simple possession of a quantity of cannabis and violent behaviour at Mountjoy garda station on the same date.

Judge Denis McLoughlin was told that the DPP's directions were not yet available. A garda sergeant told the judge that a medical report from the Mater Hospital was "forthcoming" and expected to be obtained within two weeks.

Grainne Whelan, defending, said the case had been before the court since October and since then her client had abided by his bail conditions, which included signing on daily at his local garda station.


She also said that the State had been directed to provide disclosure of CCTV evidence at an earlier hearing but this had not been done. Judge McLoughlin agreed to give the State further time and acceded to a defence request to relax Mr Hamilton's signing-on conditions to once a week. Mr Hamilton was remanded to appear again on January 21.

Following the death of Fr Cleary in 1993 it emerged the priest had fathered two children with his housekeeper Phyllis Hamilton, with whom he had a relationship for 26 years. Their first child was given up for adoption; while their second son, Ross, lived in Dublin at parochial house in Harold's Cross with Fr Cleary and Ms Hamilton, who died in 2001.

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