Retired teacher wants to stop trial for alleged indecent assault

A retired schoolteacher has brought a legal challenge aimed at preventing his trial in on charges of alleged indecent assault against boys almost fifty years ago.

The former teacher has been sent forward for trial before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on 16 charges of alleged indent assault committed against boys on dates between September 1968 and 1971.

It is claimed the charges arose out of complaints made by former pupils at the Dublin School where the man was a teacher.

The accused man has launched High Court proceedings aimed at halting his prosecution on the grounds he is at risk of not getting a fair trial.

He claims that he is prejudiced because the DPP delayed in commencing the criminal proceedings, and the alleged events happened so long ago that important witnesses are no longer alive.

The man, who denies the charges, is now aged in his seventies and has health problems, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

File photo of a teacher.

In High Court proceedings against the Director of Public Prosecutions the man seeks orders including an injunction preventing his trial from proceeding.

He also seeks various declarations including that given the exceptional circumstances in this case it would be unjust and unfair to put him on trial.

He further seeks a declaration that bring criminal proceedings against him would amount to a breach of his constitutional rights, breach his rights under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and be an unlawful infringement of the his liberty.

Patrick Gageby SC for the man told the High Court today his client has fully co-operated and assisted the Gardai since he was first interviewed in relation to the allegations.

Counsel said that due to the passage of time since the alleged incidents witnesses who would have been available to his client are now deceased. There was also important documentary evidence that could not be located, counsel added.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.

The case will come back before the court in October.

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