A victim of paedophile school principal Patrick Barry yesterday described the 80-year-old abuser as a "vicious wolf lying in wait" to abuse the children that came to his school.
At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, the now middle- aged woman described the terror of having to go to Moyasta NS as a little girl.
In a victim impact statement, she told the court: “I was a little girl who came from a loving home where I was cherished by my parents and he was the vicious wolf lying in wait for me every day to take complete advantage of my innocence.
“What he did to me and all those other girls was reprehensible,” she said and added that Barry “terrorised and molested me daily for years”.
Last July, a jury found Mr Barry of Well Rd, Kilkee guilty on 59 counts of indecent assault against 11 primary school girls over a from 1964 and 1985 at the two-teacher Moyasta school in west Clare.
At the sentencing hearing, there was no apology from Mr Barry through his counsel to the victims. The abuser was allowed to return to his home place of Kilkee yesterday after Judge Gerald Keyes further remanded him on bail and adjourned the case to next Wednesday to fix a date for sentence.
Earlier in court, eight victim impact statements were read out.
One of the victims stated that her own children subsequently attended Moyasta NS.
She said: “When they ask about my time at the school, I could never explain what went on in the senior room. I would never have wanted my children to know that such degradation would have impacted on their mother and aunties.”
Counsel for Mr Barry, Roderick O’Hanlon SC said that his client has no previous convictions and at the age of 80 suffered from severe medical conditions.
Mr O’Hanlon read out a number of testimonials in court including one from an Ennis-based Protestant clergyman, Canon Bob Hanna.
He said: “Padraig’s life of faith was intertwined naturally and gently with normal human pursuits. I never ever saw anything other than a spiritual man using his talents in the interests of his church and his community.”
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