A former Christian Brother, living on Achill Island, has been jailed for 12 months for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy at the North Monastery secondary school in Cork, after inviting him to attend a basketball training session in the sports hall.

67 year old Edward Bryan with an address at Dugort, Achill, had pleaded guilty earlier this month at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to indecently assaulting the boy at the North Monastery between November 1st and December 31st 1981.

According to the Irish Times, Detective Garda Eimear Brennan told the court yesterday that Mr Bryan made no admissions when he was first arrested in March 2018 and interviewed about the sexual assault but he did plead guilty when he was arraigned on the charge earlier this month. She said he also had nine previous convictions for indecent assault.

In a Victim Impact Statement, the complainant told how his life changed  after the assault. He never told anyone about the abuse until he met his partner who later became his wife and confided in her.

Defence barrister Brendan Kelly said that his client was genuinely remorseful and he read out a letter of apology from Edward Bryan to his victim before pleading for leniency and pointing out that his client had spared the complainant the trauma of a trial by his guilty plea.

Judge Brian O’Callaghan said that any sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence including, not just the harm that Bryan had caused but also his “moral culpability in committing these vile acts” on a 14-year-old boy.

Judge O’Callaghan acknowledged that Bryan had spared his victim the burden of a trial and that was a mitigating factor as was the fact that he had not come to the attention of the gardaí since they investigated the other assault cases which dated from the 1980s.

However, he said there were also aggravating factors to the case which could not be ignored and he sentenced Bryan to two years in jail, suspending the final 12 months.


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