Ex-priest accused of possessing child pornography sent forward for trial

Oliver O’Grady has yet to indicate how he will plead following extradition from Portugal

Oliver O’Grady had an address at Faro in the Algarve at the time of his arrest, but is now in custody in the Midlands Prison, Portlaoise. Photograph: Collins Courts

Oliver O’Grady had an address at Faro in the Algarve at the time of his arrest, but is now in custody in the Midlands Prison, Portlaoise. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

An ex-priest has been sent forward for trial accused of possessing child pornography.

The book of evidence was served on Oliver O’Grady (74) at Waterford District Court on Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with one count of possessing a video of a semi-naked underage girl engaging in a sexual act, contrary to Section Six of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.

The video was allegedly in his possession on a date in 2015 at an address in Waterford.

Judge Kevin Staunton gave an “alibi warning” under which it was outlined that if the defendant intends to rely on alibi evidence, he must supply details to the State within 14 days.

Mr O’Grady, who was represented in court by Andrew Walsh BL, has yet to indicate how he will plead.

Mr Walsh told the court that “parts of pages” belonging to the book of evidence were missing and requested their inclusion. Agreeing with the defence counsel, Judge Staunton said it should be attended to as “a matter of extreme urgency”.

A district court warrant was issued for Mr O’Grady’s arrest in September and he appeared in Dublin District Court last month having been extradited from Portugal.

The accused moved to the United States in the early 1970s after his ordination and served in California. He returned to Ireland after leaving the US in 2001 and had an address at Faro in the Algarve at the time of his arrest, but is now in custody in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise.

Sgt Michael Hickey told Tuesday’s sitting that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed for Mr O’Grady to be sent forward for trial at the Circuit Court. No application was made for bail and Mr O’Grady was remanded in custody by Judge Staunton.

Mr Walsh said an application had been made for legal aid for the appointment of solicitor Tracy Horan to the case and the appointment of one junior counsel.

Mr O’Grady will appear in the Circuit Court on January 14th, 2020.