Priest charged with sex assaults on teenage boy

Wed, Oct 13, 2010, 01:00

A 74-YEAR-old priest has been remanded on bail after he was charged with a number of sexual offences against a minor.

Fr Brendan Wrixon, with an address in Newmarket, Co Cork, appeared at Mallow District Court yesterday on three charges of gross indecency against a teenage boy contrary to section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.

Fr Wrixon was charged with committing an act of gross indecency with the teenager, then aged approximately 16 or 17, at the Convent of Mercy, Bathview, Mallow, on a date unknown between October 16th, 1982, and February 15th, 1983. He was also charged with two other counts of committing an act of gross indecency with the youth at Ballintlea, Doneraile, Co Cork, on a date between June 16th, 1983, and October 15th, 1983, and at Christ the King Church, Shanballymore, Co Cork, on a date between February 16th, 1983, and June 15th, 1983.

Det Garda Colman Murphy gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told how, when he arrested Fr Wrixon at Bowling Green in Mallow last Saturday at 1.20pm, and put the charges to him, Fr Wrixon expressed shock.

“I am shocked by it,” Fr Wrixon replied to the first charge, “Again, I am stunned, shocked by it,” he replied to the second charge and “I am just shocked by it,” he replied to the third charge, Det Garda Murphy told the court.

Insp Senan Ryan said a book of evidence had been served on Fr Wrixon and he was seeking a return for trial to the next sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court beginning on November 9th next.

Fr Wrixon’s solicitor, Brian O’Callaghan, said the DPP had made a previous decision in the matter, but that the DPP had since reviewed that decision and he was reserving his position with a view to addressing that issue in a higher court.

Judge Olan Kelleher acknowledged Mr O’Callaghan’s position and adjourned a decision on whether to grant Fr Wrixon free legal aid before remanding him on his own bail of €100 and returning him for trial to the next sitting of Cork Circuit Criminal Court in November. Dressed in a purple check shirt, grey jacket and black slacks, Fr Wrixon spoke only to confirm his identity during the hearing at Mallow courthouse yesterday morning.