A 71-year-old priest who continued to say mass within his religious community after serving three years for sexually assaulting schoolboys, was sentenced to another three years for abuse dating back over 30 years.

Tadgh O'Dalaigh of Woodview, Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, received a five year sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today, with the final two years suspended.

A jury last July found him guilty of indecently assaulting a schoolboy in March or April 1979 in the sick bay of Coláiste an Chroí Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, in Co Cork.  

O'Dalaigh had pleaded not guilty to this charge.  

Earlier, he had pleaded guilty to five charges of indecently or sexually assaulting another schoolboy.

Judge Donagh McDonagh noted from extensive reports prepared for today's sentencing hearing that O'Dalaigh's ministry as a priest was confined to celebrating mass within the community house of his religious order in Dublin.

Judge McDonagh acknowledged that O'Dalaigh had adhered to a monitoring regime and that this was tantamount to an open prison life.

However, he said O'Dalaigh's state of being was in marked contrast to that of the two injured parties, both of whom, he said, continue to suffer, one severe post-traumatic stress and the other severe personal and emotional problems including suicidal ideation.

He sentenced him to five years imprisonment on the conviction in the jury case, and imposed three years concurrent on the five charges relating to the other victim.

Judge McDonagh said he did not want to close off all aspects of hope in relation to the perpetrator and suspended the last two years of his sentence.