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Former Dublin school principal charged with sexually abusing boys over 28-year period

A former school principal has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing boys over a 28-year period.

atrick Harte (80) is facing trial on 90 separate offences against 20 children between the 1960s and 1990s.

Judge Treasa Kelly remanded him in custody at Dublin District Court for the preparation of a book of evidence, after hearing he may apply for bail on a later date.

Mr Harte, of Glendown Park, Templeogue, Dublin, is accused of 83 counts of indecent assault, one attempted indecent assault and six sexual assaults on dates between 1967 and 1995.

The majority of the offences are alleged to have happened at Sancta Maria Christian Brothers primary school on Synge Street in Dublin.

Detective Garda Colleen Gallagher submitted a list of the charges to the court before giving evidence of the accused’s arrest, charge and caution.

Defence barrister John Griffin asked the garda to use the microphone in court as Mr Harte was hard of hearing.

Det-Gda Gallagher, of the Divisional Protective Services Unit at Kevin Street station said she charged the accused before the court sitting, as set out, and cautioned him.

He made no reply to any of the counts and was handed copies of the charge sheets.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had directed trial on indictment, she said, meaning the accused will be sent forward to the circuit court when a book of evidence is ready.

There was also consent to the accused being sent forward on a signed plea of guilty if this should arise, Det-Gda Gallagher added.

Judge Kelly asked if there was any application for bail.

“Not at the moment,” Mr Griffin said, telling the judge there was consent to the accused being remanded in custody with a possibility of a bail application on the next date.

He asked that the accused be remanded back to Dublin District Court sitting in the Criminal Courts of Justice rather than to Cloverhill District Court.

He said he had been given a large number of documents by the gardaí, and instructions had to be taken. Mr Griffin said he believed another in-person court appearance would be better than a video link.

Det-Gda Gallagher did not object to this but asked to be given at least 48 hours notice if there was going to be a bail application.

The judge adjourned the case to a date next week and granted free legal aid following an application by Mr Griffin.

The accused was not required to address the court during the brief hearing and has not yet entered pleas to any of the charges.

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