A judge has cleared Sister Mary Theresa Grogan of the 63 counts of sexual and indecent assault against seven girls at a Midlands school during the 1970s.

The Catholic nun was accused of committing these assaults in a classroom and school library from 1973 to 1977.

The Irish Independent reports that Judge Donagh McDonagh issued verdicts of “not guilty” after five days of legal argument, without a jury.

Sister Grogan burst into tears when he read his ruling. They reported that three of the complainants had to be helped from the courtroom while another sobbed loudly in the public gallery.

The judge ruled that inconsistencies in the evidence would have made the trial unsafe.

Previously the court had heard that the complaints had been in third class in primary school when the assaults took place. They were all approximately nine-years-old. One of the complainants had told the court Sister Grogan would call her to her desk and put her hand inside her underwear.

Grogan has spent time in the missions in Africa but returned a number of years ago when one of the alleged victims made a complaint to the police and an investigation into her behavior began.

Read more: Catholic nun stands trial over 63 counts of physical and sexual abuse of children