Priest (85) facing charges over sexual abuse of four boys
An 85-year-old Dublin priest has been arrested and is likely to be charged with 40 different sexual abuse offences of four different boys.
His arrest came as part of a major historical abuse inquiry by specialist detectives based at Pearse Street garda station.
The cleric, who is now based in south Dublin, was a teacher for decades in a south inner city school in the capital.
He is alleged to have attacked four boys at the school between 1972 and 1974 and has been probed in relation to the allegations for a number of years. He was recently arrested in relation to the investigation but was said to be uncooperative in relation to the investigation.
Sources say that he has been investigated by gardaí for a number of years in relation to the case. He has been investigated for the indecent assault of four juvenile Dublin boys who are now middle-aged men.
Sources also said that gardaí believe they have enough evidence to charge him for dozens of counts of indecent assault and he is likely to face a court date in the coming weeks.
If convicted of the offences, the octogenarian, who has no previous criminal convictions, is likely to face a possible jail sentence.
Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Dublin told of his shock at finding serial paedophile priests are unable to conclusively confirm newly reported cases of abuse they were involved in because they had so many victims.
Dr Diarmuid Martin made the disturbing revelation in an RTÉ documentary detailing how the Vatican came to exert control over almost every aspect of Irish life since the foundation of the State.
In the 'Rome v Republic' programme, Dr Martin talks frankly about the scale of abuse, expressing his deep concern paedophile priests can often be unsure if they abused a victim or not when a new case comes to light.
He said: "Any organisation has to ask how is it that at a particular time, there was a large number of serial paedophiles. I'm talking serious paedophiles, we're talking about hundreds."