Trial Continues of Dublin Priest on Abuse Charges

Irish Examiner
October 29, 2010

A man accusing a former Dublin priest of sexual assault and buggery almost 30 years ago has revealed he “clammed up” when gardai questioned him initially about the allegations.

In his first statement to gardai dated April 2, 1993 the complainant stated “he (the accused) never had full sexual intercourse with me,” but told Mr David Keane SC, defending, under cross examination on day two of the trial, that he had meant to add “on that particular day.”

The 54-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies 10 counts of sexual assault and six counts of buggery on the boy between June 1, 1979 and June 30, 1983 when the alleged victim was aged between seven and 11.

The complainant agreed when Mr Keane suggested to him that “nowhere in your first statement did you allege buggery”.

“I got nervous when more gardai came into the interview room and I clammed up as I was embarrassed,” the complainant said.

“I didn’t tell the full truth as I was embarrassed as I didn’t want to say I was raped,” he said.

Mr Keane put it to the complainant that he did not “clam up” since in a later statement he alleged his uncle “molested” him after being told of the accusations against the priest.

“You said you clammed up and were unable to describe in detail what the defendant is alleged to have done to you yet shortly after, with the same gardai in the room, you were subsequently able to tell them in detail what your uncle is alleged to have done to you,” Mr Keane put it to the complainant.

“There was no reason for you to clam up in relation to the defendant unless what you said is true, that he did not have full sex with you,” added Mr Keane.

The complainant disagreed with Mr Keane and said “they (gardai) didn’t ask me as detailed questions about what the defendant did as they did about what my uncle did to me.”

The complainant said after he had attended several counselling sessions he was able to make a further statement to gardai where he gave full details of the alleged buggery and sexual assault by the defendant.

Mr Keane also put it to the complainant that he had claimed he served Mass as an altar boy at 7.30am on weekdays in a local convent but that a nun will give evidence later in the trial that there were never any altar boys serving Mass in the convent as the Mass was not open to the public.

The complainant disagreed with Mr Keane and said “the nun must be wrong and all I can say is that particular person was not there when I was serving early morning Mass in the convent.”

The trial continues before Judge Frank O’Donnell and a jury of seven men and five women.


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