A FORMER cleric has been charged with sexually assaulting two altar boys.
Patrick Crowley, who left the priesthood 11 years ago, is charged with sexually assaulting the two boys at a Cork church almost two decades ago.
Crowley appeared before Cork District Court today on nine charges of sexual assault.
It is alleged he sexually assaulted one boy on six occasions.
The second youth was allegedly assaulted on three occasions.
All allegations refer to a period dating from September 1 1989 and May 31 1990.
Det Garda Donal O’Connell said Crowley made no reply to any of the charges when they were formally put to him.
Crowley of Cuan Mhuire, Athy, Co Kildare left the priesthood in 2002.
However, he had not served in ministry since 1994.
Judge Olan Kelleher was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had agreed to summary disposal in the event of a guilty plea.
Crowley was serving at the time of the alleged offences as a curate in a Cork parish.
The two boys involved were both altar servers.
It is alleged that Crowley sexually assault each of the boy’s separately.
The incidents allegedly occurred when the cleric was alone with the boys in the church.
Judge Kelleher said he wanted time before making a ruling on accepting jurisdiction in the matter.
He said he wanted to consider the statements made by the two complainants before making his ruling.
He adjourned the matter to Cork District Court on June 5 next.