The trial of a retired surgeon accused of groping a number of boys in his care has heard that a support group for victims of medical abuse referred people to gardaí.
Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to thirteen charges of indecent assault allegedly committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda.
On the seventh day of the trial, Detective Garda Seamus Nolan told the court that he had no dealings with the support group Dignity 4 Patients, but that he was aware it had referred people to gardaí.
Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, asked Det Gda Nolan if this case was unusual due to there being an “active campaign” carried out by Dignity 4 Patients. The detective replied that Dignity 4 Patients was a support group for victims of medical abuse and that “campaign was your word”.
Det Gda Nolan said he knew the complainants saw advertisements about Dignity 4 Patients holding meetings. He said that gardaí did not attend these meetings.
He told the court he did not think what may have been said by solicitors at the meetings was relevant as gardaí deal with criminal prosecutions and not civil matters. He said he never looked at the group's website.
Det Gda Nolan said that he had met with Mr Shine after the complainants in this trial made statements to gardaí and that Mr Shine had prepared a statement in which he denied all allegations.
He told Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that each of the complainants in this case had given consent for the release of any documents held by Dignity 4 Patients relating to them for the purpose of this trial.
The trial continues in evidence next week before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.