Legal expert faces trial on 77 charges of child sex abuse

Andrew Phelan

A TOP legal expert has been arrested and charged with 77 counts of sexually abusing children over two decades.

The man is accused of assaulting four young boys between the 1970s and 1990s. The incidents are alleged to have happened in Dublin and at various locations around the State.

The accused, who is in his 60s, is facing trial on the charges and was remanded on bail when he appeared in court last Friday.

He has an address in the south of the city and is a senior figure in the legal field.

The court heard he made no reply to the charges when they were put to him following a two-year investigation.

He is charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, including several under Section 4 of the Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment Act. He cannot be named for legal reasons.

Judge Timothy Lucey adjourned the case for the service of a book of evidence.

All the alleged victims who have brought complaints against the man are now adults. The accused had met gardai by arrangement following an investigation that had begun "almost exactly two years ago".

The 77 counts took more than half-an-hour to be read out by the prosecuting gardai from Terenure Garda Station.

Detective Garda Thomas Stack gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in relation to the first 56 charges at Terenure Garda Station yesterday morning.


Detective Garda Brian Grealy detailed the following 20 charges and Detective Sergeant Joseph Molloy gave evidence of the single final count.

The accused, wearing a light blue suit under a brown jacket, leaned his head on his hand and adjusted his glasses several times as the evidence was given.

He did not address the court during the hearing.

The court heard the DPP was directing trial on indictment on all charges and defence solicitor Peter Mullan consented to a two-month remand for preparation of the book of evidence.

Judge Lucey granted bail in the accused's own nominal bond of €1,000, with no cash lodgment required. He was also to surrender his passport, not apply for a new one and notify gardai if he is to leave the jurisdiction with seven days' notice, and to give an indication of where he intends to go.

Under bail conditions, the defendant must sign on once a week at his local garda station and not have any contact with the alleged injured parties or witnesses.

Gardai consented to these conditions and the case was adjourned to January 7.

"I would be confident that we would have the book on that date," Det Sgt Molloy said.

Mr Mullan made no legal aid application.