A nun on trial for indecently assaulting pupils in a national school in the midlands in the 1970s has been found not guilty by direction of the trial judge.

Sr Mary Theresa Grogan had pleaded not guilty to 63 charges of indecently assaulting seven girls while they were third class pupils in the school.

The trial of Sr Grogan, who was also known as Sr Peter, had gone on for three weeks at Sligo Circuit Court with the final week taken up by legal argument.

Judge Donagh McDonagh ruled this morning that the accused be withdrawn from the jury and Sr Mary Theresa Grogan be found not guilty.

He withdrew the case from the jury on a number of grounds, including inconsistencies in evidence and a lack of corroboration in some areas.

He said that there was no doubt in his mind that the passage of time had seriously affected the memory of complainants.

He said he would not go so far as to say there was collusion among complainants, but said there was a risk of cross-contamination.

It is impossible to believe, he said, that events so significant in these ladies' lives were not the subject of conversation.