Born-again Christian refused to swear on bible

Mid-West Correspondent

A Nothern Irish man described as a born-again Christian was challenged at Limerick Circuit Court over his decision to take an oath of affirmation rather than swear on the bible when giving undertakings about his behaviour.

Kenneth Hillyard, aged 55, of Fort William, Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, was in court for breaching a probation order. Hillyard has convictions at Belfast Crown Court dating back to 1994 for attempted rape, indecent assault on a child, and gross indecency involving a child.

Limerick Circuit Court heard Hillyard claimed to be a born-again Christian.

State solicitor Michael Murray asked Judge Tom O’Donnell that Hillyard give a sworn undertaking to abide by conditions which included having no contact with children under the age of 18, his behaviour regarding drink, and his place of residence. Hillyard told the court he wanted to make his sworn commitment by way of affirmation rather than swear on the bible.

Mr Murray put it to him that he was being disingenuous. Hillyard said he did not understand what Mr Murray was claiming.

Judge O’Donnell said he was satisfied about the affirmation by Hillyard. Addressing him, the judge said: “I don’t want to see you again.”

Hillyard replied: “I don’t want to see you again, sir.”


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