Dublin priest found not guilty of two counts of sex abuse as trial continues

The former Dublin priest accused of sexually abusing a boy 30 years ago has been found not guilty by direction of the trial judge of one count each of sexual assault and buggery in the Phoenix Park.

Dublin priest found not guilty of two counts of sex abuse as trial continues

The former Dublin priest accused of sexually abusing a boy 30 years ago has been found not guilty by direction of the trial judge of one count each of sexual assault and buggery in the Phoenix Park.

A former parishioner revealed in evidence that the accused baptised his son on February 10, 1980, the day the complainant alleged he was sexually abused in the Phoenix Park.

Evidence of the parish’s baptismal register showed that the accused had baptised another child prior to this baptism on the same day.

Judge Frank O’Donnell directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict on the two counts relating to February 10, 1980.

The 54-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the remaining nine counts of sexual assault and five counts of buggery on the boy between June 1, 1979 and June 30, 1983 when the alleged victim was aged between seven and 11-years-old. Today was day three of the trial.

The parishioner told Mr David Keane SC, defending, that the former priest “baptised my son in my home at 4pm on February 10, 1980 and as far as I can recollect he stayed until the celebrations ended at 10pm”.

The complainant alleged that the accused brought him away for the day on his birthday on February 10, 1980.

“We drove to the Phoenix Park where we ended up at a place called the Furry Glen where he brought me through a gap in the bush where there was an old smelly mattress,” the complainant said.

He alleged it was here that he was raped by the accused.

The trial will resume on Monday before Judge Frank O’Donnell and a jury of seven men and five women.

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