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Priest charged with 39 counts of sexual assault

AN ELDERLY priest has been charged with sexually assaulting a teen over an eight-year period two decades ago.

Fr Vincent Mercer (66) of Black Abbey, Kilkenny, was remanded on bail after being charged before Cork District Court with a total of 39 counts of sexual assault.

Fr Mercer faces 39 charges of sexual assault against a juvenile at various locations in Cork and Limerick between January 1, 1986 and February 22, 1994.

The juvenile was aged between 11 and 17 over this period.

Fr Mercer is a serving member of the Dominican Order, though he is not in ministry at the present time.

Judge Con O'Leary remanded Fr Mercer on his own bond of €2,500 to appear again before Cork District Court on January 10.

The State is then likely to seek a return to the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

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