Wednesday 21 March 2018

Former Church of Ireland lay worker charged with 75 counts of sexual abuse on 10 boys

Saint Patrick's Cathedral
Saint Patrick's Cathedral

By Andrew Phelan

A FORMER Church of Ireland lay worker has been charged with sexually abusing boys over a 13-year period.

Patrick O’Brien (76) appeared in Dublin District Court charged with 75 counts of indecent assault on 10 separate alleged victims between 1977 and 1990.

The offences are alleged to have happened at locations around the country - including St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, residential addresses and on a boat.

Judge Cormac Dunne granted bail subject to conditions and adjourned the case for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Mr O’Brien, of Knocklyon Road, Templeogue is charged with indecent assault on boys in Dublin and other counties including Galway, Westmeath and Kildare.

Detective Garda Anthony Maloney told the court he arrested the defendant at 8.10am at Terenure Garda Station for the purpose of charge.

“After caution, to each charge he said: ‘no comment’,” Det Gda Maloney said.

The accused was handed a copy of the charges and arrest warrant.

Det Gda Maloney said he had no objection to bail being granted subject to conditions.

Judge Dunne asked State Solicitor Roseann Seale how long she expected the book of evidence to take to prepare.

She said seven weeks and told the judge that this estimate was real rather than “theoretical.”

Judge Dunne granted bail in Mr O’Brien’s own bond of €500 with no cash lodgement required.

Conditions are that he signs on at Terenure Garda Station between 9am and 9pm every Wednesday.

He is also to reside at his home address and surrender his passport to gardai.

Det Gda Maloney confirmed that there were no concerns that accused would not appear for his trial.

He said a lot of people had been interviewed as part of the investigation and asked that accused should not have any contact with them.

Judge Dune said this was an “intrinsic” part of bail.

The accused did not address the court during the hearing and was remanded on bail to appear in court again on July 28.

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