Dublin Circuit CourtGoogle Images

A Dublin priest has been convicted by the Circuit Criminal Court of buggering and sexually abusing a boy almost three decades ago.

A jury of seven men and five women returned guilty verdicts on nine counts of indecent assault and five counts of buggery between June 1979 and June 1983. Their deliberations lasted one hour and 34 minutes on day four of the trial at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Frank O'Donnell remanded the 54-year-old accused man in custody for sentencing at a later date.

The court heard that the victim had been aged between seven and 11 years old at the time of the offences. The complainant, now 38 told Ms Mary Rose Gearty SC, prosecuting, that he met the accused while he was a pupil at a Dublin national school.

“My first ever conversation with him was when my dad, who was an alcoholic, had beaten my mother up and I got a grazed lip and a bruise on my cheek as my dad hit me too,” the victim said.

“It was raining that day when I went to school and I was in the sheds at lunch time when he (the defendant) came over to me and saw my bruises and asked me what had happened.”

“He hugged and cuddled me and then asked me was I interested in becoming an alter boy, which I agreed to become,” said the complainant.

“The first time he brought me into the presbytery after I was serving Mass he sat on an armchair and he sat me on his knee to talk about my mam and dad,” the complainant told the court.

“He would rock me up and down to the music and would (touch me intimately),” he said. “Then he would give me lemonade, crisps and chocolate.”

He told the court that he was first raped by the priest  when he was ten years old in the presbytery during a school sports day. He said the defendant tied his wrists and ankles with vestment ropes before asking him to bend over a coffee table and continued to molest and rape him.

“I started crying and he...closed the open window and kept telling me he loved me and he would protect me and that everything would be okay.”

The victim told Ms Gearty he had been hospitalized a number of times in later years and had received counseling.