Trial of Marist brother nearing end

The trial of a former Marist brother and primary school teacher has reached its closing stages at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The trial of a former Marist brother and primary school teacher has reached its closing stages at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The 66-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to 55 charges of indecent assault at the Sligo school on dates between July 1, 1968 and June 30, 1977.

He has denied 14 charges in relation to the first two complainants, nine charges in relation to a third, 17 charges in relation to a fourth complainant and one charge in relation to another boy.

Judge Patrick McCartan has withdrawn 20 charges from the jury.

He told the members that they need no longer consider the first charge in relation to the first complainant because he said the State now accepts that the accused may have not been teaching in the school at the time of that allegation.

He said he was withdrawing all 14 charges in relation to the second complainant as he was satisfied that there had not been sufficient evidence in the case to support that the accused’s alleged behaviour with that boy had been indecent and as such the jury would be expected to speculate.

Judge McCartan said five charges in relation to the third man are also withdrawn.

He said this complainant had agreed with the defence that a certain part of his time at the school were “a blank” to him and that there had a gap in his memory. These charges related to that specific time period.

The jury of seven men and five women have been addressed by prosecuting counsel Ms Mary Rose Gearty SC and Mr Hugh Hartnett SC, defending and are in the middle of hearing a charge from Judge McCartan.

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