Teacher cleared of sex abuse now faces massive legal bill
A SPECIAL-needs teacher who was cleared of sexually abusing pupils is facing a mammoth legal bill after the High Court struck out as "groundless" a long-running lawsuit against the State.
Patsy McGlinchey, from Newport in Tipperary, was acquitted by a jury in 2002 of sex abuse charges following a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
In 2005, Mr McGlinchey launched separate High Court civil proceedings against the Garda Commissioner, the DPP, the Justice Minister and the Attorney General claiming that he was subjected to unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
But last month, High Court Judge Mr Justice John Hedigan struck out the eight-year-old proceedings as "groundless" and costs were awarded against Mr McGlinchey.
His solicitor, John Devane, told the Irish Independent yesterday that they would appeal the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Mr McGlinchey did not wish to speak about the matter at his home in Tipperary.
At the previous criminal trial, Mr McGlinchey had denied the sex abuse charges.
Despite his acquittal, he remained suspended on full pay for almost 12 years.
The married father of three was first suspended in 1997 following garda and HSE inquiries, and following his acquittal he went to the High Court to be reinstated. The suspension was lifted and, as part of that settlement, the parties agreed to an order quashing the suspension and to the holding of an independent inquiry, in private, into that suspension.
Mr Devane confirmed that an appeal against the High Court decision had been lodged to the Supreme Court. Should the Supreme Court bid fail, Mr Devane has vowed to proceed to the European Court of Justice.
"His (McGlinchey's) wife and his children and himself have not had what could be called a family life in 14 years," Mr Devane claimed.
At Mr McGlinchey's bungalow home in Newport last night, his wife Dymphna told the Irish Independent that they did not want to talk about the case.