By Brion Hoban
A retired surgeon groped the genitals of a teenage patient with whom he played chess in hospital, a jury has heard.
Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to 13 charges of indecently assaulting seven boys allegedly committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda.
On the third day of the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial, one complainant told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that he was hit by a car during the summer of 1972 when he was aged 14 and that he required surgery on his right knee.
The man said that Mr Shine was his consultant during his stay at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital and that he would come to his room in the evening to play chess with him. After being released from hospital following his surgery the man attended an appointment at Fair Street Clinic, Fair Street, Drogheda.
He said that Mr Shine released his belt and zipper and that his trousers and underwear were pulled down. He said that Mr Shine began “playing with” and “fondling” his genitals.
The man said that when he asked Mr Shine why he was doing this, he replied that “you could tell a lot this way”. He said he did not think that Mr Shine ever examined his knee.
He said that he felt depressed after the incident and had not known what to do.
When asked by Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, if he was a heavy drinker, the man said that “depends what you call a heavy drinker” and said he drank a few pints a week. He accepted Mr Hartnett's assertion that he previously said he could sometimes drink 10 to 12 pints in a night.
The man agreed with Mr Hartnett that he was involved in a civil case against Mr Shine. He said that he became involved with the civil case approximately two years ago and that he first went to gardaí regarding the alleged offences in 2002.
He did not accept Mr Hartnett's suggestion that the games of chess had not happened and that Mr Shine does not play chess.
Earlier in the trial, another complainant told Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that when he was 15 he was referred by his GP to Mr Shine at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital due to tearing his foreskin during sexual intercourse.
The man said that during an examination on his injury, Mr Shine began to masturbate him for five to 10 minutes, ending with him squeezing his penis. Mr Shine said that he should come back to undergo circumcision, but the man said he never went back.
He said that he felt “low, a bit shocked” after the exam and that he had not known if it was right or wrong. He said he went unaccompanied to the hospital and that he did not tell his parents about the appointment as he should not have been having sex at that age.
The man agreed with Mr Hartnett that he was also involved in a civil case seeking damages from Mr Shine. He said that he began taking part in the civil case after he had already met with gardaí regarding the alleged offences.
The trial continues tomorrow morning before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.