Retired Principal Loses Appeal Against Sexual Assault Conviction


A retired primary school principal from Co Clare has lost an appeal against his conviction for molesting 11 girls over a 21 year period.

80 year old Patrick Barry of Well Road, Kilkee was found guilty last summer on 59 counts of indecent or sexual assault between 1964 and 1985 at Moyasta National School.

He was tried and convicted at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court late last year and is serving a six year jail sentence.

The jury heard evidence he molested eleven girls in fifth and sixth class – mostly in the classroom.

Four former pupils gave evidence in support of their claims, while 7 witnesses called by the defence testified that they’d never seen inappropriate behaviour.

On appeal Patrick Barry’s legal team argued the specifics of the charges were vague and that adverse rulings by the trial judge rendered the verdicts unsafe.

The Court of Appeal has dismissed his case on all grounds but the 80 year old’s lawyers will argue for a reduction of his sentence at a further hearing this Friday.

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