Saturday, October 30, 2010

Priest charged
Priest charged with abusing boy
BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent

Tue, Oct 12, 2010

A 74-year-old priest has appeared in court charged with a number of sexual offences against a teenage boy.

Fr Brendan Wrixon was arrested following a Garda investigation into allegations of clerical child sex abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne.

Fr Wrixon, with an address in Newmarket in Co Cork, appeared at Mallow District Court today on three charges of gross indecency against the boy contrary to Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.

He was charged with committing an act of gross indecency with the teenager, then aged 16 or 17, at the Convent of Mercy, Bathview, Mallow on a date unknown between October 16th, 1982 and February 15th, 1983.

He was also charged with two other counts of committing acts of gross indecency with the youth at Ballintlea, Doneraile on a date between June 16th, 1983 and October 15th, 1983 and at Christ the King Church, Shanballymore on a date between February 16th, 1983 and June 15th, 1983.

Det Gda Colman Murphy gave evidence of arrest charge and caution.

He said he arrested Fr Wrixon at Bowling Green in Mallow last Saturday at 1.20pm and put the charges to him.

“I am shocked by it,” Fr Wrixon replied to the first charge, “Again, I am stunned, shocked by it,” he replied to the second charge.

“I am just shocked by it,” he replied to the third charge, Det Gda Murphy told the court.

Insp Senan Ryan said that a book of evidence had been served on Fr Wrixon and he was seeking a return for trial to the next sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court, beginning on November 9th.

Brian O’Callaghan, for Fr Wrixon, said that the DPP had made a previous decision in the matter. However, the DPP had since reviewed that decision and he was reserving his position with a view to addressing that issue in a higher court.

Judge Olan Kelleher acknowledged Mr O’Callaghan’s position and adjourned a decision on whether to grant Fr Wrixon free legal aid before remanding him on his own bail of €100 and returning him for trial in November.

Dressed in a purple checked shirt, grey jacket and black trousers, Fr Wrixon, who has not practised in ministry since 2005, spoke only to confirm his identity during the hearing.

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