By David Raleigh
A former Christian brother would "lick" pupils ears clean, and fondle their privates, a court heard .
The accused, who cannot be named, pleaded not guilty on the opening day of his trial at Limerick Circuit Court, to 15 counts of indecently assaulting three former male pupils, at a school, in the late 1970s.
The three alleged victims, who were aged ten years old at the time, gave harrowing evidence of the alleged abuse.
All three alleged in court that the accused abused them while taught class, by putting his hands down their pants and fondling their privates.
One of the alleged victims alleged that while the accused fondled him, he would whisper into his ear: “Look at this lump of jelly and watch it get hard.”
“It was horrific," the man told the court.
He said he would be in “a panic” at home before going to school: “I used to, in my own little mind, stuff my vest down my pants, in the hope he would got to another pupil in the class."
Another alleged victim told the court the accused had taught a “military style” class.
“What I mean by that is that we had to be neat and clean. Our hair had to be cut and we had to clean our ears. If you're ears weren't clean, he would would actually lick your ears."
The man broke down several times, and including whilst he gave evidence that his pants became "wet” while the accused fondled his penis.
He said the accused became a friend of his family and he would visit his home and go with them on family day trips.
The witness wept as he alleged how his mother, having discovered his wet pants, went shopping for “pads” to help keep his pants dry.
“I couldn't tell my mother what was happening,” he said.
Under cross examination the man agreed with Andrew Sexton, defending, that he had “pursued” a civil claim for damages against the accused, and against the school.
He also agreed with Mr Sexton that he had attended psychological counselling, but that his counsellor “did not keep notes” about their sessions.
A third alleged victim broke down in court giving evidence.
He alleged the accused abused him and others in “full view of the class”.
He agreed under cross examination that he did not tell anybody, up until 2007, when gardai approached him about allegations against the accused.
“I locked it to the back of my mind. That's where I wanted it to stay, but times change,” he said.
The accused denies all of the charges.
Evidence is due to resume tomorrow before a jury at Limerick Circuit Court.