From The Irish Independent
A RETIRED teacher accused of sexually assaulting some of his pupils has won the right not to be prosecuted. The man, who is in his 70s, was alleged to have committed 56 offences between 1955 and 1981. Some of the incidents were said to have occurred at Irish-language schools in Dublin, Meath, Galway, Westmeath, Wexford and Tipperary.
Mr Justice O Caoimh accepted the man's argument in the High Court yesterday that so much time had passed that he could not have a fair trial. He said he was unable to recall some of the alleged incidents and that some potential witnesses were dead.
He also claimed gardai had mislaid a tape recording of a meeting he had with one of his accusers, whom he alleged had tried to blackmail him. The tape was vital to his defence, he said.
One alleged victim claimed the teacher assaulted him in 1955, while they were sharing a bed in a house where they were staying. He said he told other boys sleeping in the room, including one who is now well known in Irish-language circles, about what had happened. That man has refused to make a statement to gardai, however. The alleged victim said he complained to the Minister for Education in the early 1980s and to the Minister for Justice since then.
Another man alleged the teacher tried to bugger him 10 times in 1964, while he was a student on an Irish-language course and staying with a family in Co Galway. He alleges further assaults in 1965, at other locations.
A third alleged victim claimed the teacher assaulted him in a flat, a house and a cinema.
A fourth accuser claimed the teacher assaulted him while they shared a bed in a house in a Gaeltacht area. He said he had run out of the room frightened and shaking, then complained to other people in the house.
A fifth alleged victim said the teacher assaulted him several times in 1980 and 1981, including while they were sharing a tent at a summer camp. He said he told another teacher and his father that he had been assaulted.
The teacher's solicitor said this complainant had attempted blackmail in 1991, and that the teacher had recorded their meeting and given the tape to gardai. The solicitor said that, despite numerous requests, he had received neither a copy nor a transcript of the recording.
Posted by Colm at November 07, 2002 02:25 PM
The Director of Public Prosecutions did not oppose the teacher's move to have his trial permanently restrained.