‘We hoped and we prayed this day would come’ – Victims’ joy as ex-principal is jailed over abuse


July 11, 2020

By Declan Brennan and Brion Hoban


A former school principal convicted of sexually abusing seven of his pupils has been sentenced to three years in jail.

Patrick Harte (78) was convicted of 11 counts of indecently assaulting seven pupils at the Sancta Maria Christian Brothers primary school in Synge Street, Dublin, between 1968 and 1970.

Afterwards Fr Tony Conlon, one of the victims and who is now a Catholic priest, said he “hoped and prayed” this day would come.

Outside Dublin’s Criminal Courts of Justice, Fr Conlon said they had fought the case for seven years and that “finally vindication has come for all of us”.

He said he had not thought they could ever get justice and it shows that no matter how long ago it was “that there is justice”.

The priest called on people to come forward “if you have been abused or hurt in anyway”. He urged people not to be ashamed and said that if they come forward “you will get the best help and support”.

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