Sex assault trial of former Dublin priest begins

A former Dublin priest has gone on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court accused of the sexual assault and buggery of a young boy almost 30 years ago.

The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies 10 counts of sexual assault and six counts of buggery on the boy between June 1, 1979 and June 30, 1983 when the alleged victim was aged between seven and 11-years-old.

The complainant, who is now 38, told Ms Mary Rose Gearty SC, prosecuting, that he met the accused when he was around seven years old while a pupil at a Dublin national school.

“My first ever conversation with him was when my dad, who was an alcoholic, had beaten my mother up and I got a grazed lip and a bruise on my cheek as my dad hit me too,” the complainant said.

“It was raining that day when I went to school and I was in the sheds at lunch time when he (the defendant) came over to me and saw my bruises and asked me what had happened.”

“He hugged and cuddled me and then asked me was I interested in becoming an alter boy, which I agreed to become,” said the complainant.

“The first time he brought me into the presbytery after I was serving Mass he sat on an armchair and he sat me on his knee to talk about my mam and dad,” the complainant told Ms Gearty.

“He would rock me up and down to the music and would start to rub [me] over my shorts and kiss me on the back of my neck,” he said. “Then he would give me lemonade, crisps and chocolate.”

He told Ms Gearty he was first raped by the defendant in the presbytery when he was 10-years-old during a school sports day.

He said the defendant asked him to bend over a coffee table and tied his wrists and ankles with vestment ropes before molesting and raping him.

“I started crying and he highered up the music and closed the open window and kept telling me he loved me and he would protect me and that everything would be OK.”

The complainant also recalled the day of his ninth or 10th birthday when he was asked if he would like to go with the defendant to a hospital to visit someone.

“We drove to the Phoenix Park where we ended up at a place called the Furry Glen where he brought me through a gap in the bush where there was an old smelly mattress,” the complainant said.

He alleged it was here that he was again raped by the accused.

The defendant told Ms Gearty he had received counselling in his later years and was hospitalised a number of times.

The case continues before Judge Frank O’Donnell and a jury.

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