The State has been given extra time to complete a book of evidence in the case of a retired consultant surgeon who denies indecently assaulting 16 young males over a 26-year period.
Dr Michael Shine (aged 80), who has an address at Wellington Road, in Dublin 4, was charged in July with 25 counts of indecent assault which allegedly occurred from 1964 until 1990, at Our Lady's Hospital in Drogheda, Co. Louth and at a clinic in the same county.
Dublin District Court had heard that the retired surgeon replied “not guilty” after caution when 24 of the charges were put to him. His response to one other charge was: “Not guilty, I was not in Ireland at the time.”
Detective Sergeant Nicholas Kelly had said the DPP has directed that the retired doctor is to face a Circuit Court trial, meaning his case will go before a judge and jury.
Today, the 80-year-old appeared again at Dublin District Court but Judge Cormac Dunne was told that the book of evidence was not yet ready to be served on the former doctor.
A State solicitor explained that “it is a very large case, there are eight volumes of files, 16 injured parties are referred to in the book of evidence.”
The State solicitor asked for more time and said it was expected that the book would be completed in four weeks.
Defence solicitor Bobby Eagar said Mr Shine had been the subject matter of an investigation since 1994 but reluctantly he was consenting to the State's request.
Judge Dunne said the prosecution was obliged to act with utmost efficiency but it was not appropriate to mark the case peremptory against the State at this stage.
He allowed them the time extension and ordered Mr Shine to appear again on October 31 next.
The former doctor remained silent during the brief hearing and was remanded on continuing bail.
The proceedings have already heard that it could take until early 2014 before his trial goes ahead and that it was expected to last about three weeks.
Earlier, Judge Dunne had decided not to impose a signing-on condition or to order Mr Shine to surrender his passport as a condition of bail.
However, he stipulated that the retired doctor must directly inform gardaí and the main investigating officer Det. Inspector Patrick Marry if he plans to change his address, with 14 days advance notice.
Judge Dunne had also stated earlier that it was equally important that the retired surgeon would have to give gardaí seven days notice if he has intentions of leaving Ireland and advise them of his departure and return dates.