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Three-week evidence wait for trial of ex-school principal accused of sexual abuse

Patrick Harte denies the allegations and appeared again at Dublin District Court today.

Image: Laura Hutton via RollingNews.ie

PROSECUTORS HAVE BEEN given another three weeks to complete a book of evidence for the trial of a retired Dublin school principal accused of sexual abuse of 20 former pupils.

Gardaí charged Patrick Harte, 80, in May with 83 indecent assaults, one attempted indecent assault and six sexual assaults from 1967 to 1995.

It followed an investigation by the Divisional Protective Services Unit at Kevin Street Garda Station. The alleged offences involved 20 pupils at Sancta Maria Christian Brothers primary school on Synge Street, Dublin.

The former teacher, who later became a principal, worked at the school from 1967 until 2008.

He denies the allegations and appeared again at Dublin District Court today.

Judge Deirdre Gearty acceded to the State’s request to grant more time to complete the book of evidence.

She adjourned the case until 14 October.

The DPP has directed trial on indictment in the Circuit Court but must serve the book of evidence on the accused before the District Court judge grants a trial order.

In June, the court set bail in the pensioner’s bond of €15,000 and required an independent surety to lodge another €15,000.

Sligo-born Harte, with an address at Glendown Park, Templeogue, was also ordered to obey strict terms, including the requirement for an independent surety, cash lodgements and the surrender of his passport.

Detective Garda Colleen Gallagher had “flight-risk” concerns. She told a bail hearing the “allegations are similar in nature”; however, the injured parties were “unknown to each other”.

The officer said the allegations indicated “prolonged, systematic abuse”, but she added that Harte denied all the allegations when gardai put them to him.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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Tom Tuite

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