Dominican priest remanded over abuse
A Dominican priest was today remanded on bail after he was charged with 39 counts of sexually assaulting a boy at various locations in Munster around 20 years ago.
Fr Vincent Mercer (66), who is out of ministry but remains a member of the Dominican Order, appeared at Cork District Court today in relation to the offences.
He was charged with 39 counts of sexually assaulting the boy, who was aged between 11 and 17 at the time, on various dates between January 1st 1986 and February 22nd 1994.
The offences are alleged to have happened at a house in Cork city, a location in Co Limerick, a location in Co Cork and a number of unknown locations.
Garda Caroline Keogh gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told the court that Fr Mercer made no reply to the charges when they were put to him after caution.
Insp Mary King told the court that the DPP had directed trial by indictment before a judge and jury at circuit court level and that gardaí had no objection to bail with conditions attached.
Defence solicitor, Robert Eagar said his client was willing to abide by the conditions including that he reside at the Dominican community at Black Abbey in Kilkenny.
Gardaí also sought that Fr Mercer sign on twice weekly at Kilkenny Garda station and that he not have any contact directly or indirectly with children as part of his bail terms.
Judge Con O’Leary specified in the bail terms that Fr Mercer must remain away from any school or other institution where children socialise such as swimming pools.
The only exception was in the event of an institution within 100 yards of his residence at Black Abbey in which case, he may not loiter in the vicinity of any such institution.
Mr Eager said his client was agreeable to a long remand and Judge O’Leary remanded him on his own bail of €2,500 to appear again at Cork District Court on January 10th 2013.