80-year-old man pleads guilty to indecent assault five boys in Limerick and Clare

Ennis courthouse
Ennis Courthouse

AN 80-YEAR-OLD man has pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of five boys over a six-year period at locations in Limerick and Clare.

At Ennis Circuit Court, the man pleaded guilty to 12 separate counts of indecent assault against the five boys between 1976 and 1981 at four locations in Limerick and Clare.

The man was aged in his mid to late thirties at the time of the incidents.

The counts of indecent assault took place at Cratloe in south east Clare, Holy Island on Lough Derg, Garryowen in Limerick, and the Ennis Road in Limerick.

The accused initially faced 26 counts when charged in the District Court, with counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL (instructed by State Solicitor Aisling Casey), telling the court that the pleas are acceptable on a full facts basis.

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Mr Connolly asked that Judge Francis Comerford seek victim impact statements from the five complainants for the sentencing hearing.

Counsel for the accused, Mark Nicholas SC, said that the offences “go back some time” and said that a psychologist’s report on the accused would be appropriate.

Mr Connolly said that the prosecution was anxious that there would be no undue delay in sentencing, noting that the accused has a date of birth in 1943.

The court heard that there is no familial link between the accused and the victims.

Mr Nicholas asked that reporting restrictions continue on the approach to the sentencing hearing, with Judge Comerford granting the request.

The judge said that he hoped the sentencing hearing would take place in April, with the court told that the hearing “will take some time”.

The allegations have been investigated by the Protective Services Unit attached to Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick since 2019.

Judge Comerford further remanded the man on bail. As part of bail conditions, the accused is to have no contact with the witnesses directly or indirectly, surrender his passport, reside at a Clare address, and sign on twice weekly at his local Garda station.