independent

Thursday 17 October 2019

Ex-priest facing gross indecency charges

FORMER CUSHINSTOWN PP IN COURT OVER INCIDENTS AT ST. PETER'S COLLEGE

St. Peter's College photographed from the air around the time the alleged incidents occurred.
St. Peter's College photographed from the air around the time the alleged incidents occurred.

AN ELDERLY former parish priest of Cushinstown, who taught at St. Peter's College, has been charged with eight counts of gross indecency during the 1960s.

Seamus O'byrne (78), with an address at The Presbytery in School Street, Wexford, appeared at Wexford District Court on Monday.

The former priest, who was dismissed from the priesthood in 2005 on the order of the Pope, faces eight counts of committing acts of gross indecency with a male at St. Peter's College in Summerhill on dates unknown in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

The alleged victim cannot be named for legal reasons.

Garda David Beale gave evidence of arresting the defendant on Sunday and charging him with the offences.

The former priest made no reply to the charges at the court.

Inspector Pat Mcdonald said the DPP had direced that the defendant be sent forward for trial on all the charges.

The former cleric, who is a native of Bunclody, was represented by solicitor Tim Cummings, who applied for free legal aid on his behalf.

Mr Cummings said that his client's only income is a noncontributory pension. The defendant was a priest for over 45 years up to his dismissal by the Pope in 2005. He was a former teacher at St. Peter's College.

Judge Gerard Haughton granted free legal aid and remanded the accused on continuing bail to Wexford District Court on May 1 for a book of evidence.

Judge Haughton made it a condition of bail that the defendant surrender his passport to Garda Beale within 24 hours.

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