Ex-principal charged with 12 counts of indecent assault on three pupils

Colaiste Chroí Naofa, Cork, where the alleged sexual assaults took place 40 years ago.

An 82-year-old former principal and priest yesterday denied 12 counts of indecently assaulting children at Colaiste Chroí Naofa school in Carrignavar around 40 years ago.

Donnacha MacCarthaigh of the Missionaries of Sacred Heart, Western Rd, Cork, was arrested and charged with the indecent assaults yesterday and brought before Cork District Court.

Detective Garda Kevin McCarthy cautioned that he did not have to say anything in response to the charges but that anything he did say would be written down and given in evidence.

Fr MacCarthaigh said in response to each charge: “I did not touch anyone sexually or inappropriately.”

The 12 charges arose out of complaints made by three men and refer to alleged indecent assaults when they were aged between 12 and 14 and in between first year and third year at the Sacred Heart school in Carrignavar.

The charges range in time from September 1972 to June 1983, when the accused was aged 39 to 50.

Judge Con O’Leary asked what directions had been given in the case by the DPP.

Inspector Mary King said the DPP had directed trial by indictment. The inspector applied for an adjournment of the case until June 16 to allow time for preparation of the book of evidence. It is anticipated that, when the book is served, the case against Fr MacCarthaigh will be sent forward to Cork Circuit Criminal Court for the setting of a date for trial by judge and jury.

The State made no objection to the accused being remanded on continuing bail until then and no bail conditions were required. The judge extended time for service of book of evidence.

Dominic Creedon, defending, said: “There is no objection to that.”

In respect of the first complainant there was one charge, namely indecent assault at Colaiste Chroí Naofa between September 1 and December 31, 1972.

Four charges were brought in relation to the second defendant and refer to alleged indecent assaults on him between January 1 and June 1983.

There are seven charges in relation to the third complainant. Fr MacCarthaigh was accused of indecently assaulting him five times between February 1 and March 3, 1973. The next charge was of indecent assault in or around October 1973. The last charge referred to indecent assault between January 1 and April 30, 1974.

Fr MacCarthaigh was required to return to court in a month’s time for service of the book of evidence on him.

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