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Dublin: 16°C Monday 15 August 2022

Court hears of horrific sexual abuse by former Christian Brother on fifth class boys

Sentencing for James Treacy (75) was adjourned until 28 July.

Limerick Circuit Court.
Limerick Circuit Court.

A JUDGE HAS described the effects of depraved sexual attacks on fifth class boys by their teacher as a “nuclear fallout” for the victims and their families.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said he was adjourning sentencing former Christian Brother James Treacy (75) to consider “extremely profound” impact statements read into evidence today by some Treacy’s victims.

It was heard that, in one attack, after catching the boy smoking in the school toilet, Treacy gagged him with a bar of soap, anally raped him over a urinal, and burnt his privates with a cigarette.

Another victim described in chilling detail how Treacy ran a “military style” class, and would “lick” the boys ears clean if they had forgotten to wash them.

The victims claimed Treacy fondled their privates at their desks while whispering “twisted” sayings in their ears.

Treacy pleaded not guilty to a total of 17 counts of indecent assault on boys at the school.

He was found guilty by two juries at two separate trials in May and June this year.

It was heard Treacy targeted fifth class pupils across three different classes between the 1979s and 1980s.

Evidence was given in court that Treacy is a brother of the late Republic of Ireland soccer star and travel agent, Ray Treacy – who had no knowledge of the abuse – and it was heard that the defendant had brought some of his victims to meet his soccer star brother as a treat.

“Clerical robes”

Evidence was also given that James Treacy had 30 previous convictions for indecent assault on six more boys at the same school.

Evidence during one of the trials was given that the convicted paedophile, would be wearing “clerical robes” in class, and he would have one of his hands hidden under his garments while he fondled the victims’ genitals.

Andrew Sexton, defending, said Treacy has had to move house due to publicity surrounding the trials.

Reading his victim impact statement to the court today, one victim said Treacy had treated him like “a piece of meat” “for his appalling fantasies”.

He said Treacy had told him the “sick and twisted” abuse was his own fault, and that if he told anyone, his mother, who was in ill-health at the time, would die.

The victim also described walking home two years after the abuse, and seeing an ambulance outside his house.

I wet my pants. I was 12. I thought my mam had died and that someone had found out about it.

The man said Treacy had “owned my childhood”, but that he had now finally broken free of his grip.

“It took twelve long years to win in court. You don’t own me anymore,” he told Treacy, who showed no emotion.

More of Treacy’s victims said the trauma of the abuse lasts with them everyday.

One described how they continued to suffer “haunting nightmares” and could still not sleep in the dark.

The abuse also seriously impacted on their relationships with their families and friends, they said.

Treacy was remanded in custody for sentencing on 28 July.

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David Raleigh

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