An 80-year-old former school principal of a rural school in Co Clare has been found guilty of indecently assaulting eleven former pupils at his school over a 21 year period from 1964 to 1985.

Pat Barry of Well Road, Kilkee and a former principal of Moyasta National School in West Clare, had denied 67 charges of indecently assaulting the eleven women when they attended the school as pupils.

The eleven complainants, including four sisters, described how he used to molest them at every opportunity and practically every day.

They 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.

The accused man had denied all the charges and through his defence team claimed the allegations were untrue.

He claimed that the women had a false memory of what had happened. 

After deliberating over the past two days, the jury found Barry guilty of 59 charges.

He was found not guilty on the remain eight charges by order of Judge Gerald Keyes.

The complainants hugged each other and cried when the guilty verdicts were read out.

The court heard it was their express wish that the accused man be named.

He has been placed on the sex offenders register and the case has been put back to 28 October to fix a date for sentencing.