Kerry-born priest on charges

A KERRY-BORN priest has been remanded on bail after he was charged with 39 counts of sexually assaulting a juvenile at various locations in Munster around 20 years ago.

Fr Vincent Mercer (66), who is out of ministry but remains a member of the Dominican Order, appeared at Cork District Court last week in relation to the offences.

He was charged with 39 counts of sexually assaulting the juvenile, who was aged between 11 and 17 at the time, on various dates between January 1st 1986 and February 22nd 1994.

The offences are alleged to have happened at a house in Cork city, a location in Co Limerick, a location in Co Cork and a number of unknown locations.

Garda Caroline Keogh told the court that Fr Mercer made no reply to the charges when they were put to him after caution.

Insp Mary King told the court that the DPP had directed trial by indictment before a judge and jury at circuit court level and that gardai had no objection to bail with conditions attached.

Judge O'Leary remanded him on his own bail of €2,500 to appear again at Cork District Court on January 10, 2013.

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