Jury retires to consider verdict in trial of Co Clare teacher

Thursday 10 July 2014 17.53
Jury in trial of former teacher accused of indecent assault in Co Clare has retired to consider verdict
Jury in trial of former teacher accused of indecent assault in Co Clare has retired to consider verdict

The jury in the trial of an 80-year-old former teacher who has denied 67 charges of indecent assault on 11 former pupils at a Co Clare school has retired to consider its verdict.

The assaults are alleged to have taken place over a 21-year period from 1964 to 1985

The trial, conducted over two and a half weeks at Ennis Circuit Court, heard from 11 women, including four sisters, who alleged the former teacher used to grope and molest them at every opportunity and practically every day.

The women described how he indecently assaulted them as he sat beside them at their desks, and when he sat at a high stool and called them to the top of the class.

They described being terrified to go to school and how their former teacher made their school lives horrible.

Some of the complainants travelled from the US and England to give evidence.

Defence counsel said that the women's testimony was untrue, and that they had a false memory of what occurred.

The accused man, who cannot be identified, denies all charges.

A number of defence witnesses, both male and female, who attended the same national school in the 1960's and 1970's gave evidence that they never saw the accused man act inappropriately towards any student.

Before retiring Judge Gerald Keyes directed the jury to find the accused man not guilty on eight of the 67 counts on the issue paper.