*Holy Island is among the locations where the counts of indecent assault are alleged to have occurred. 

A 78-year old man has appeared in court charged with the indecent assault of four boys over a five year period at locations in Clare and Limerick.

At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, the pensioner faced a total of 26 indecent assault charges from 1976 to 1981 at four locations in Clare and Limerick. The man was aged 33 to 38 during the period of the alleged indecent assaults.

Giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution, Det Garda Denise Moriarty of Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick stated in response to charge concerning two of the four complainants, the accused said “I never heard of that name.”

In response to one of 12 indecent assault counts concerning a third complainant from 1976 to 1981, the accused replied “I have no recollection of that.”

The counts of indecent assault are alleged to have occurred at Cratloe in south east Clare, Holy Island on Lough Derg, Garryowen, Limerick and the Ennis Rd. Limerick.

The accused – who turns 79 later this month – is facing 12 indecent assaults against one then boy, three against another, 10 against another and one against a fourth.

Sgt Aiden Lonergan said that allegations have been investigated by the Protective Services Unit attached to Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick since 2019.

Addressing Det Moriarty, Sgt Lonergan said: “You have assessed the risks granting bail and you are happy to grant bail with certain conditions.

Det Moriarty said: “That is correct.”

As part of the bail conditions, Judge Mary Larkin ordered that the accused have no contact with the witnesses directly or indirectly, surrender his passport, reside at a Clare address and sign on twice weekly at his local Garda station.

Sgt Lonergan stated that the matter is to proceed on indictment to the circuit court and the case could be adjourned to Ennis District Court to June 22nd for the Book of Evidence.

Sgt Lonergan stated that the defendant can go forward to the circuit court on a signed plea of guilty should he opt to take that course.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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