Sex case jury fails to reach verdict
THE CASE against a former Christian Brother accused of sexual assault on five boys at the North Monastery secondary school in Cork has been adjourned until October after a jury failed to reach a verdict.
Edward Bryan (58), Athboy Road, Trim, Co Meath, had pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned on charges of indecently assaulting the five boys at the North Monastery school on various dates during the 1980s.
The jury of seven women and four men at Cork Circuit Criminal Court failed to reach a verdict on charges against Mr Bryan, despite deliberating for more than seven hours on Thursday and all day yesterday.
During the trial, the five complainants had each given detailed testimony about how they had been indecently assaulted by Mr Bryan, known as Br Bryan, when they found themselves alone with him when he took them for training for the school basketball team.
Mr Bryan, who the court heard left the Christian Brothers in 1994 and later became deputy director of the National Centre for Young Offenders at Oberstown in Co Dublin, said the allegations against him were fabricated by the five complainants.
“They know that I did not hurt any child, least of all them,” said Mr Bryan.
“I worked hard for them, I worked long hard hours for them.” He added that he did engage in one-to-one training sessions with boys, but at most it involved passing the basketball to the boy.
“Anyone who knows me knows that it is not my character. I certainly did not do anything like that,” he said in cross-examination. “It is fabrication. They were well-coached, they got their stories right but they are wrong. It is absolute lies, not true.”
Following the jury announcing that they were unable to reach a verdict, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin agreed to an application from Dermot Sheehan, prosecuting, to have the matter relisted for October to allow him to take instructions from the DPP.