THE BOOK of evidence has been served on a priest accused of sexual offences in County Limerick.
Last July, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with eight counts of sexual assault on dates between September 1988 and August 1990. It is understood the complainant was aged 11 or 12 at the time.
In January, he was further charged with six sexual assaults after a second male came forward to gardai. It is believed the plaintiff was a teenager at the time of the alleged offences between September 1988 and June 1990.
State solicitor, Aidan Judge said: “My application to the court is the defendant be returned for trial to the next sittings of Limerick Circuit Court. The DPP consents for the case to be sent forward for trial.”
Judge Marian O’Leary gave the alibi warning to the priest, who was remanded on bail from Kilmallock Court. Brendan Gill, solicitor, applied for one counsel on behalf of Colin Morrissey.
The priest has stepped aside from duties in his parish - not in County Limerick - since last May.
Following the original sex abuse allegation, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly said that a priest of the diocese has “stepped aside from ministry while an alleged historical child safeguarding issue is being dealt with”.
“It is important to state that standing aside does not imply that what is being dealt with is either true or false. As in all circumstances the well-being of children is at the heart of Church activities and this action is in accordance with the Church’s Standards and Guidance document on safeguarding children. All the relevant statutory authorities are aware of this matter.
“If anyone has any concerns in relation to the safeguarding of children, we advise they contact gardai, Tusla, or designated liaison person for the archdiocese.”