Priest, 74, charged with gross indecency

A 74-YEAR-OLD priest in the diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork has been charged with three counts of gross indecency against a teenage boy.

Fr Brendan Wrixon was charged with committing the alleged offences which are said to have taken place at three different locations in north Cork on unknown dates between October 1982 and October 1983.

He was charged with committing an act of gross indecency with the teenager at the Convent of Mercy, Bathview, Mallow, on a date between October 16, 1982 and February 15, 1983.

Wrixon was also charged with two other counts of committing acts of gross indecency with the youth at Ballintlea, Doneraile, on a date between June 16, 1983, and October 15, 1983, and at Christ the King Church, Shanballymore, on a date between February 16, 1983 and June 15, 1983.

The priest, who lives in the Newmarket area of north Cork, appeared before a sitting of Mallow District Court yesterday where evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Detective Garda Colman Murphy.

The detective said he arrested the priest at 1.20pm last Saturday at Bowling Green, Mallow, and conveyed him to the local Garda station.

Judge Olann Kelleher heard Detective Garda Murphy say that when the charges were put to Fr Wrixon he replied that he was “shocked” and “stunned” by them.

Inspector Senan Ryan told Judge Kelleher that Gardaí had served the book of evidence on the case yesterday morning.

The inspector applied to have the priest returned for trial at the next sitting of Cork Circuit Criminal Court on November 9.

Wrixon’s solicitor Brian O’Callaghan applied for free legal aid and handed Judge Kelleher a statement of Wrixon’s means.

However, the judge said he wouldn’t make a ruling on that as Mr O’Callaghan could seek to make the application for free legal aid in the higher court.

Inspector Ryan said he had no objection to Wrixon getting bail.

Judge Kelleher remanded Wrixon on his own bail of €100 and returned him for trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on November 9.

Mr O’Callaghan said that the DPP had made a previous decision in the case but had since reviewed the matter.

Mr O’Callaghan said he was therefore reserving his position with a view to addressing that issue in a higher court.


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