A retired consultant surgeon has appeared in court charged with indecently assaulting 16 male patients over three decades at a hospital and a private clinic in Drogheda, Co Louth.

Michael Shine, 80, who lives in an apartment on Wellington Road in Dublin was arrested outside the Criminal Courts of Justice this morning.

The Dublin District Court was told he replied not guilty to each of the 25 charges. To one of the charges, he also said that he was not in Ireland at that time.

The alleged incidents took place at the private medical Fair Street clinic and at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on various dates between the 1960s and 1980s.

He was remanded on bail for service of the book of evidence in October.

Gardaí asked that Mr Shine surrender his passport and sign on once a week at Donnybrook Garda Station as part of his bail conditions.

However, the defence objected on a number of grounds, including the fact that Mr Shine had the use of an apartment in the Canary Islands and had planned to go there in August for a few months.

The court was also told that the DPP had directed trial on indictment and that the earliest possible hearing date was in January 2014.

Judge Cormac Dunne remanded Mr Shine on bail of his own bond of €5,000.

He agreed with the defence that it would be unfair if he was not free to travel to take some solace from the apartment in the Canary Islands and because of his age and ability to move in and out of a garda station.

However, he ordered him to notify the senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Patrick Marry, when he intended to leave and come back into the country and if he intended to change address.