Former Church of Ireland worker arrested and charged with 75 counts of abuse of boys

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Patrick O'Brien
Patrick O'Brien

A FORMER lay worker with the Church of Ireland is to stand trial accused of sexual abuse of 10 boys between 1977 and 1990.

Patrick O'Brien (76) is facing 75 counts of indecent assault at numerous locations throughout the State including St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin and he was remanded on bail after a brief court hearing yesterday.

No plea was entered and he was ordered to appear at Dublin District Court on July 28 when it is expected he will be served with a book of evidence.

Mr O'Brien, with an address at Knocklyon Road, Templeogue, in Dublin, was arrested today at Terenure Garda station by detectives attached to the Child Protection and Human Exploitation Bureau.

He was charged and then brought to appear before Judge Cormac Dunne at Dublin District Court.

Det Garda Anthony Maloney told Judge Dunne that Mr O'Brien replied “no comment” when the charges were put to him.

He agreed that there was no objection to bail.

But he asked for conditions to be imposed that Mr O'Brien must reside at his current address, surrender his passport and not apply for duplicate travel documents, and that he would sign-on once a week at his local garda station.  Judge Dunne set these terms of bail.

Det Gda Maloney also asked for a condition stating the defendant must not have any contact with the complainants. Judge Dunne said it was an intrinsic part of bail that there would be no contact.

He remanded the defendant, who did not address the court, on bail in his own bond of €500.

State solicitor Roseann Seale asked the judge to remind the news media of the reporting restrictions and Judge Dunne said nothing must be published that would identify any of the alleged victims.

He noted that there was no evidence that publishing the defendant's name would link him to the complainants.