Priest remanded over abuse of boy in Munster


A Dominican priest has been remanded on bail after he was charged with sexually assaulting a boy at locations in Munster about 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 yesterday in relation to the offences.

He was charged with 39 counts of sexually assaulting the juvenile, who was aged from 11 to 17, between January 1st, 1986, and February 22nd, 1994. The offences are alleged to have happened at a house in Cork city, in Co Limerick, in Co Cork and in a number of unknown locations.

Garda Caroline Keogh gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution. She told the court that Fr Mercer made no reply to the charges when they were put to him after caution.

Garda Insp Mary King said the DPP had directed trial by indictment before a judge and jury at Circuit Court level and gardaí had no objection to bail with conditions attached.

Robert Eagar, defending, said his client was willing to abide by the conditions, including that he reside with 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 with children as part of his bail terms.