Priest Awarded ˆ8.5k for Abuse of Human Rights

By Sean McCarthaigh
Irish Examiner
January 23, 2012

The European Court of Human Rights has awarded damages of ˆ8,500 to a Dublin priest who was acquitted in 2010 of charges of sexually assaulting a teenager after it ruled his human rights had been violated by the excessive length in bringing the case to trial.

The ECHR has ordered the Government to pay the damages to Fr Maeliosa O Haullachain after his legal team successfully argued that the 13 years and seven months taken to conclude proceedings against him represented a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Fr O Haullachain sought damages of ˆ100,000 from the state and ˆ48,000 in legal fees.

However, the ECHR awarded him just ˆ8,500 in damages and ˆ3,500 in legal costs.

Fr O Haullachain of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault on a Co Louth teenager between July 1981 and August 1982 when she was aged 13-14.

It is the third case in recent years in which the Strasbourg-based court has found Ireland to have violated a person’s human rights on grounds of length of proceedings in taking a criminal prosecution against an individual.








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