Man seeks to prevent trial over claims of assaults at Dublin school 50 years ago

Retired teacher in his seventies claims it would be unjust to try him due to passage of time

The man’s counsel, Patrick Gageby SC, told the High Court the man had fully co-operated with and assisted gardaí since he was first interviewed in relation to the allegations

The man’s counsel, Patrick Gageby SC, told the High Court the man had fully co-operated with and assisted gardaí since he was first interviewed in relation to the allegations

 

A retired teacher has brought a legal challenge aimed at preventing his trial over alleged indecent assaults against boys in a south Dublin school almost 50 years ago.

The man has been sent forward for trial before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on 16 charges of alleged indecent assault against nine boys on dates between September 1968 and 1971. He denies the charges.

In his High Court proceedings against the DPP, he claims he is at risk of not getting a fair trial for reasons including delay in commencing the criminal prosecution and because important witnesses are no longer alive.

Aged in his 70s, he also says he has health problems. He cannot be identified for legal reasons.

He claims exceptional circumstances in his case mean it would be unjust and unfair to put him on trial. He also claims continuing with a prosecution would amount to a breach of his fair trial rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.

His counsel, Patrick Gageby SC, told the High Court the man had fully co-operated with and assisted gardaí since he was first interviewed in relation to the allegations.

Deceased

Due to the passage of time since the alleged incidents, witnesses who would have been available to his client were deceased and important documentary evidence could not be located, counsel said.

The allegations of eight of the nine complainants appear to have been made following an approach by members of An Garda Síochána, Mr Gageby said.

The man had been investigated in relation to his alleged conduct at the school in the 1990s and was previously charged with 25 counts of indecent assault but his trial on those charges was prohibited by the High Court, he added.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan granted the ex parte application (one side only represented) for leave for judicial review, put a stay on the man’s prosecution until the High Court case is decided and returned the matter to October.