Former Marist brother on abuse charges gets trial date

A former brother charged with six counts of indecent assault against four boys at the Marist primary school in Retreat on a number of dates between 1978 and 1982 was served with a book of evidence in the District Court this week (June 23 ) and returned for trial at Mullingar Circuit Court, sitting at Tullamore, on July 13.

An application by the 67-year-old’s solicitor to continue Judge David Anderson’s original press injunction to prevent publication of the name and address of the defendant was extended by Judge Conal Gibbons. The original gagging order was made to include the specific dates of the alleged offences in case any victim might be identified through this.

For the trial, his solicitor sought legal aid for herself, as well as for one senior counsel and one junior counsel.

Judge Gibbons thought it might be more appropriate for a Circuit Court judge to assign senior counsel on a legal aid docket, but acquiesced when assured by the solicitor that this was common practice in matters such as this.

On his last appearance on April 21, the court heard from Detective John Mulligan how he arrested the defendant that morning on appointment, and that there was no Garda objection to bail so long as he surrendered his passport and continued living at his given address. The same conditions were extended in court this week, with the defendant’s own bail set at €200.

The tall, grey-haired man, described in court as “a retired teacher” did not speak throughout the short hearing.

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