A former top surgeon is to face trial on charges of indecently assaulting 16 young boys over three decades from the 1960s.

Dr Michael Shine, now 80 and retired, has been charged with 25 counts of indecent assault at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and at a clinic in the town.

The Irish Times reports that Shine, now resident in Dublin, appeared before Judge Cormac Dunne at Dublin District Court.

Detective Nicholas Kelly told Judge Dunne that the retired surgeon replied ‘not guilty’ after caution to 24 of the charges.

His response to the other charge was: “Not guilty, I was not in Ireland at the time.”

The consultant surgeon was arrested near the courthouse, for the purpose of being charged. The report says he remained seated and silent for most of the brief hearing.

Detective Kelly told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that the retired doctor is to face a Circuit Court trial before a judge and jury.

The detective also asked for a remand to allow time for the book of evidence to be completed.

In response to police requests for bail conditions, the court heard from Shine’s solicitor that he planned to go on holidays to the Canary Islands in August for a couple of months.

His solicitor also claimed that it could take until early 2014 before his client’s Circuit Court trial goes ahead.

Judge Dunne decided not to impose the signing-on condition or to order Shine to surrender his passport.

The report states that the judge stipulated that he must directly inform police if he planned to change address, with 14 days advance notice.

The Irish Times reports Judge Dunne also said it was equally important that the retired surgeon would have to give them seven days’ notice if he had intentions of leaving Ireland and advise them of his departure and return dates.

Shine spoke only once during the brief hearing, replying ‘yes’ when asked if he understood the terms.

He was remanded on bail in his own bond of $6,000 and was ordered to appear again in October when he will be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

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