Former Christian Brother found guilty of sex abuse in 1960s industrial school


A former Christian brother has been found guilty of sexually abusing a young boy at Letterfrack Industrial School in Co Galway in the 1960s.

RTE reports Robert Doherty, 72, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault by a jury at Galway Circuit Criminal Court on Friday.

He had denied abusing a school boy in his bedroom beside a dormitory at the Connemara industrial school between August 1965 and April 1967.

Doherty, originally from the Falls Road in Belfast joined the Christian Brothers when he was 15. He began teaching at Letterfrack Industrial School at the age of 24. One year into his job, he was put in charge of the boys who were being detained there. He worked at the school until 1968 and later left the religious order in 1976.

The victim, now 59 was sent to the Galway school for four years detention for stealing a bike for a few hours, before returning  it to a police station.

He said the abuse happened on a regular basis over a considerable length of time. The court heard that the Christian Brother nicknamed him "Tuppence" after telling him he was not worth tuppence.

The former priest denied the allegations and said that no boy had ever entered his room during his time at the school.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on all six counts after the three-day trial at at Galway Circuit Criminal Court.

The 72-year-old was remanded on bail until May 15, when medical reports and a victim impact statement will be presented to the court.