Ex-Principal (80) accused of sexually abusing 21 elementary school students brought to trial

A retired Dublin school principal accused of sexually abusing 21 former pupils has been served with an evidence book and taken to court.

ardaí charged Patrick Harte, 80, in May with 83 counts of lewd assault, one attempted lewd assault and six counts of sexual assault between 1967 and 1995.

An investigation by the Divisional Protective Services Unit at Garda Station Kevin Street followed. The alleged crimes involved pupils at Sancta Maria Christian Brothers Primary School on Synge Street in Dublin.

The former teacher and later director worked at the school from 1967 to 2008.

He denies the allegations and appeared again today in Dublin District Court where Detective Garda Colleen Gallagher presented him with a book of evidence.

Prosecutor Brian Coveney told Judge Treasa Kelly that the chief of attorney’s office had approved a trial for indictment.

Judge Kelly informed him that he would be returned to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for trial, where he would make his next appearance on November 11.

The pensioner who was granted legal aid once confirmed that he understood the order.

The judge asked him to notify prosecutors within 14 days if he intended to rely on alibi evidence for his defense.

The officer said the allegations pointed to “long-term, systematic abuse” but added that Mr Harte denied all allegations

He remains on bail of €30,000 with conditions that include signing at his local Garda station three days a week. The judge denied a defense motion to reduce that requirement to once a week.

She instructed Gardaí to provide the defense with copies of the interview videos, while typed versions were turned over in court.

Sligo-born Mr Harte, with an address at Glendown Park, Templeogue, Dublin, was also asked to comply with strict conditions and had to make cash deposits and surrender his passport early.

Detective Garda Colleen Gallagher raised “flight risk” concerns at a previous bail hearing. She had said the “allegations were of a similar nature”; However, the victims were “unknown to each other”.

The officer said the allegations pointed to “long-term, systematic abuse” but added that Mr Harte denied all the allegations when Gardaí put them to him.

Today she objected to Mr. Harte’s request for a change in the starting condition.

Defense attorney John Griffin told the court that he interfered with his client’s doctor’s appointments because he had to go to the Garda station three days a week.

He argued that the condition was disproportionate, noting that his client’s trial might not begin until 2025.

However, given the Garda objection, Judge Kelly denied the defense motion at this point.

However, she added that another application may be made over time.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/ex-principal-80-accused-of-sexually-abusing-21-primary-school-pupils-sent-forward-for-trial-42067550.html Ex-Principal (80) accused of sexually abusing 21 elementary school students brought to trial

Fry Electronics Team

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