Former primary school principal to stand trial on child sex charges

A former school principal is to stand trial on more than 40 historic sexual abuse charges, a court has heard.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 6:14 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:00 pm

Paul Dunleavy, who is 82 and whose address was given as the Christian Brothers Province Centre on Dublin’s Griffith Avenue, is the former headmaster of the now closed St Colman’s Abbey Primary School in Newry.

Dressed in a grey suit, the pensioner appeared at Belfast Crown Court, where he denied a litany of sexual abuse charges against young boys dating back to the 1960s and 70s.

After speaking to confirm his name, the charges were put to Dunleavy by the court clerk. He was charged with – and denies – a total of 41 charges, namely 30 counts of indecently assaulting a male, eight counts of gross indecency with or towards a child, two counts of inciting gross indecency with a child and one charge of attempted buggery of a boy under 16.

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The charges cover a period spanning from 1969 to 1974.

During the hearing, it emerged there are nine complainants in the case, one of whom is now deceased.

Judge David McFarland was told that the trial is expected to last around four weeks, and will be held in the new year. It also emerged that the case will be listed for pre-trial applications next month.

After being told by a Crown prosecutor that there was “no issue” with Dunleavy being released on continuing bail ahead of the trial, Judge McFarland told the accused he was free to leave the dock.