Bronze statue of King Puck overlooking the village

A 53-year-old father of nine has been cleared of sexually assaulting a female police officer at the world famous puck fair in Kerry.

Cyril Moriarty was accused of grabbing the police woman in the groin during the festival in his home town of Killorglin in August 2008.

A further charge of assaulting the officer and causing her harm on the same date was also dismissed on a unanimous verdict.

Moriarty was however found guilty on a 10-2 majority of obstructing the police woman when he appeared at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.

The officer had claimed her groin was badly bruised by Moriarty after she arrived to investigate a row at a pub in the town.

The accused, who was out socializing with his wife and family members, had refused to accompany the police officer to the local station.

The officer told the court that Moriarty had grabbed her inappropriately when she was attempting to arrest him for a public order offence and began to squeeze, causing her to cry out in pain.

Moriarty denied all charges and claimed the allegation was made up and a disgrace.

“I would not do that to any woman and I did not assault the garda,” said the defendant.

“I was knocked to the ground on the flat of my back by bouncers, dragged along the ground and bundled in the door of the garda station. I did not lay a hand on the garda. I never touched her.

“Such a thing would be a despicable thing for any man to do to a woman but I did not do it.”

A doctor who examined the officer told the court there was no evidence of bruising to her groin area.