Saturday 20 January 2018

Former principal (80) appeals conviction

Patrick Barry
Patrick Barry

Ruaidhri Giblin

An 80-year-old former primary school principal has appealed his conviction for indecently assaulting 11 women while they were pupils of his over three decades.

Patrick Barry, of Well Road, Kilkee, Co Clare, had pleaded not guilty to 67 charges of indecently assaulting 11 women on dates between 1964 and 1985 while they attended Moyasta National School as pupils.

Barry was found guilty by a jury of 59 counts of indecent assault and not guilty of the remaining eight counts by direction of the trial judge, Judge Gerald Keyes.

He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment with the final five suspended by Judge Keyes at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court on November 19, 2014.

Barry appealed his conviction yesterday in the Court of Appeal on grounds that particulars on the indictment against him did not correspond to relevant counts. His barrister, Roderick O'Hanlon SC, said his client's defence and cross-examination rights were materially affected by the absence of particulars in the indictment.

Had they corresponded, Mr O'Hanlon had said at an earlier unsuccessful bail hearing, there could have been up to 300 counts on the indictment.

He further submitted that the prosecution's failure to provide details of people interviewed by gardaí, who did not go on to make complaints, prejudiced Barry.

Counsel for the DPP, Anthony Sammon SC, said Barry's arraignment on the indictment was allowed to take place without any complaint from his legal advisers.

It was only in the course of the second witness's evidence during the trial that a difficulty was alluded to, Mr Sammon said.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said the court would reserve judgment to March 23.

Irish Independent

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