Monday 23 October 2017

Former Christian Brother jailed for five years for sexual abuse of three boys

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A FORMER Christian Brother was jailed for five years today for putting three boys through "hell" in a five year campaign of sexual abuse.

Edward Bryan (59) was jailed as Judge Sean O'Donnabhain warned Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the former cleric hadn't shown one shred of remorse for what he had put the boys through in the 1980s.

Bryan of Athboy Road, Trim, Co Meath had vehemently denied indecently assaulting the boys at the North Monastery secondary school in Cork in the late 1980s.

Mr Bryan denied a total of 11 counts which related to various dates between 1987 and 1990.

All the complainants were in their teens in the Cork school at the time.

Bryan was convicted by a Circuit Criminal Court jury last month, following three trials, on eight of the 11 counts.

The victims said that enduring the three trials and the extensive cross-examination was very traumatic but that they were relieved that justice was done.

"The trial took a massive toll on me...I was never the guilty one. I had nothing to hide. I just wanted to be believed, to be vindicated. And I was," one man said.

Another victim said that Bryan had "violated my body. He took full advantage of me in this situation. He humiliated and abused me."

The families of the three victims sobbed in the public gallery as the men delivered their emotional statements.

Mr Bryan taught at the school for a total of 13 years and was briefly the principal.

He was heavily involved in basketball coaching at the North Mon, one of Ireland's most famous secondary schools, throughout his time there.

The teens, now all adults in their 40s, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

But they delivered hard-hitting victim impact statements which revealed that the abuse Br Bryan subjected them to had emotionally scarred them for life.

"He put me through hell," one victim said.

The trial heard that the abuse ranged from the boys being fondled after being instructed to take their clothes off as part of a special basketball coaching sessions right through to having the cleric masturbate on top of them.

The incidents all occurred during one-to-one coaching sessions for the basketball team where the teens were asked to remove their clothing for massages or weight-training.

Bryan, who left the Christian Brothers over a decade ago, was sentenced to five years in prison with the sentence backdated to February 21.

His legal team signalled that they intend to appeal.

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