by Gordon Deegan
A 79-year-old man charged with the indecent assault of four boys over a five-year period at locations in Clare and Limerick was sent forward for trial to the next sittings of Ennis Circuit Court next month concerning a total of 26 indecent assault charges from 1976 to 1981 at four locations across Clare and Limerick.
The man was aged 33 to 38 during the period of the alleged indecent assaults.
Prior to Judge Alec Gabbett giving the man his ‘alibi’ warning ahead of the case going to the circuit court, solicitor for the man, Tara Godfrey, told Judge Gabbett that her client’s hearing “is poor”.
When asked by Judge Gabbett if his hearing indeed was poor, he replied “no, your honour”.
Judge Gabbett said to the accused: “You were born in 1943 so that puts you in your late 70s, is that right?”
The man replied “yes – 79”.
Judge Gabbett told the man that he has 14 days, as part of his defence, to let the State Solicitor know if he has an alibi when the offences are alleged to have occurred.
Judge Gabbett said: “These date back to 1976, so you might not remember.”
Judge Gabbett granted legal aid to allow a senior counsel and junior counsel represent the man at the circuit court.
Giving evidence of arrest, charge, and caution of the man at the same court in May, Det Garda Denise Moriarty of Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick stated in response to charges concerning two of the four complainants, the accused said “I never heard of that name”.
In response to one of 12 indecent assault counts concerning a third complainant from 1976 to 1981, the accused replied “I have no recollection of that.”
The counts of indecent assault are alleged to have occurred at Cratloe in south east Clare, Holy Island on Lough Derg, Garryowen, Limerick, and the Ennis Road, Limerick.
The accused is facing 12 indecent assaults against one then boy, three against another, 10 against another, and one against a fourth.
Sgt Aiden Lonergan said that allegations have been investigated by the Protective Services Unit attached to Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick since 2019.
As part of the man’s bail conditions, the accused is to have no contact with the witnesses directly or indirectly, surrender his passport, and reside at a Clare address and sign on twice weekly at his local Garda station.