Ex-brother convicted of indecent assaults
Edward Bryan (59) at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Cork Courts
A former Christian Brother has been remanded in custody for sentence after he was convicted yesterday by a jury of indecently assaulting three boys at the North Monastery secondary school in Cork in the 1980s.
Edward Bryan (59), formerly Br Bryan, Martinvilla, Athboy Road, Trim, Co Meath, had denied 10 counts of indecently assaulting four boys at the North Monastery on dates between September 1st, 1984, and June 30th, 1990.
Yesterday, after deliberating for more than 12 hours over three days, the jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court returned majority 10 to one verdicts of guilty on seven of the charges relating to three of the boys.
The jury was unable to agree verdicts on three charges relating to a fourth boy. Dermot Sheehan, prosecuting, said he would take instructions from the DPP in relation to those charges.
Bryan left the Christian Brothers in 1994 and later became deputy director of the National Centre for Young Offenders at Oberstown in Co Dublin.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin ordered victim impact statements be prepared in relation to the three boys that Bryan was found guilty of indecently assaulting while giving them one-on-one basketball coaching at the school where he was a metalwork teacher.
This was the third time Bryan had gone on trial on the charges, with the jury in the first trial convicting him on one count in June 2012 but failing to reach a verdict on a further 11 charges. A second trial collapsed in October 2012 when the jury had to be discharged.
The judge had put a ban at the time on reporting the conviction from the June 2012 trial, but yesterday, following the jury’s guilty verdicts on a further seven counts, he lifted that ban and Bryan will be sentenced on eight counts.
The judge refused a defence application to remand Bryan on bail, saying “his status has changed irredeemably and irrevocably” as a result of the jury verdicts. He remanded him in custody for sentence on all counts on March 1st.
There were emotional scenes in court as the verdicts were read out, with the three successful complainants, who are now in their late 30s and 40s, breaking down in tears as they were hugged and embraced by family members.