Retired surgeon accused of groping 15-year-old patient

Michael Shine pleads not guilty to 13 charges of indecent assault during medical examinations

Michael Shine  has pleaded not guilty to the thirteen charges allegedly committed during medical examinations. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Michael Shine has pleaded not guilty to the thirteen charges allegedly committed during medical examinations. Photograph: Collins Courts.


A retired surgeon groped the genitals of a 15-year-old patient while resting his head on his chest, a jury has heard.

Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin has pleaded not guilty to the thirteen charges of indecent assault allegedly committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda.

The seven complainants were variously aged between 11 and 15 when Mr Shine is alleged to have fondled or touched their genitals.

On the opening day of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, the first complainant told Kathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that he required surgery on his finger when he was 15 following a farming accident and he was required to attend follow up appointments in 1988.

The man said he attended a private clinic in Fair Street, Drogheda, Co Louth, for an appointment following the surgery performed on his finger by Mr Shine. He said the hard plaster was removed from his finger and Mr Shine was reassuring throughout the process.

He said after he thought the appointment was over, Mr Shine asked him to stand up in the middle of the room so that he could “have a look at him”. Mr Shine stood in front of him, began rubbing his ears and then worked his way down, he said.

He said that Mr Shine asked him to raise his arms in the air and Mr Shine began to rub his torso under his shirt. Mr Shine undid the complainant’s fly and put both his hands into his underpants.

The man said he was “terrified, but thought it was all part of the exam itself”. He said that Mr Shine groped his genitals while resting his head on his chest.

He said Mr Shine’s breathing became more intense and “creepy, to be honest” while he was groping him. After a few minutes Mr Shine stopped, told him to get dressed and went to wash his hands.

The man said he went to a second appointment a few weeks later at the same clinic. After examining his finger Mr Shine again asked him to stand in the middle of the room and proceeded to grope his body and genitals.

Digging in

He said that Mr Shine was “rougher” on this occasion and that his fingers were “digging in”. He said that afterwards Mr Shine “gave him advice” as it what to do when he got an erection.

“I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t,” the man said. He said that during the second appointment he began to sob and cry and afterwards he was confused and distraught.

The man said he had further appointments with Mr Shine, but he always brought someone with him after the two prior occasions.

He disagreed with Hugh Hartnett SC defending that his recounting of events had been “a gross exaggeration and untrue”.

Mr Hartnett put it to him that he was also seeking damages from Mr Shine in a civil case. The man acknowledged the civil case and said he was “seeking justice”.

A second man told the court that he had surgery on his testicles in 1985 when he was 13-years-old and that he attended Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital with his father some time later to be examined by Mr Shine.

He said his father attempted to go with him for the examination, but that Mr Shine had put a hand on his shoulder and told him he did not need to come. He entered a cubicle without his father and Mr Shine examined a scar on his scrotum.

He said Mr Shine then moved his hand onto his penis and began to move the foreskin up and down. He said this became sore and he instinctively moved away.

The man said they left the cubicle and Mr Shine shook his father’s hand, telling him they would not need to come back. He said he had been confused after it was over and was not sure if it had had to have been done.

“That’s the way it stayed with me for so long, was it a proper exam or wasn’t it?,” he testified.

The trial continues on Friday before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.