Ex-Christian brother guilty of abuse

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A former Christian Brother with an address in Dundalk has been found guilty of sexually abusing a boy in Letterfrack Industrial School in Connemara during the 1960s.

A former Christian Brother with an address in Dundalk has been found guilty of sexually abusing a boy in Letterfrack Industrial School in Connemara during the 1960s.

Robert Doherty (72), from the Falls Road in Belfast, with an address at Glenwood Estate, Dundalk, had denied six charges of indecently assaulting the boy.

The assaults were said to have taken place between 1965 and 1967 in a bedroom in a institution in Letterfrack.

During a three-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court, the court heard evidence of how Doherty had systematically abused his victim.

The victim, now 59, told the court how he had been sent to the institution for stealing a bicycle outside a mass, which he returned to the local Garda station just hours after the incident.

The then nine-year-old was sent to the Connemara institution, where once Doherty had been put in charge of two dormitaries, the abuse began, and continued for two years.

Doherty was said to have nicknamed his victim Tuppence, as that was apparently all that he was worth.

Doherty denied the charges against him.

Judge Rory McCabe remanded Doherty on continuing bail to await sentence on May 15, and directed the preparation of a victim impact statement.

Speaking after the verdict, the victim said he was grateful for the support police had given him since he first reported the abuse in 1999.

He said he had dreaded the legal process many times, but was glad that he had pursued it.