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Thurles Circuit Court Judge Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault Of 6 Men.

Central Criminal Court

A circuit court judge, former secondary school teacher, former Fianna Fáil councillor, former state solicitor for North Tipperary, has been convicted, in the Central Criminal Court, of the sexual assault of six young men, some of whom were students at a Dublin school where he once taught, almost 30 years ago .

Mr O’Brien was aged in his 30s at the time of the alleged assaults, while the six complainants were aged between 17 years and 24 years. The accused had initially denied any sexual contact with any of the not named complainants, but he had later informed Gardaí that there had been consensual sexual activity with three of the six young men.

Currently aged 59 years, and a native of Thurles Co. Tipperary, residing at the Old School House, Slievenamon Road, in the town; Mr O’Brien had pleaded not guilty in the Central Criminal Court, to one count of attempted rape and eight counts of sexual assault in relation to six complainants on dates between March 1991 and November 1997.

Five of the complainants claimed that they were awakened to find the accused sexually assaulting them, while one said the assault took place in a pub toilet.

The accused, Mr O’Brien had denied any wrongdoing, however, a ten member jury took just over seven-and-a-half hours to reach guilty verdicts on all nine counts. Mr O’Brien made no reaction, when the jury returned the guilty verdicts in the Central Criminal Court today.

Mr O’Brien, who is a Thalidomide drug victim; born with no arms and only one leg, will be sentenced on March 4th next, 2024.

Statement from the Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee.
In a statement from the Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee published this afternoon, the Minister said quote, “I note that a criminal conviction has been secured in the case of a judge of the Circuit Court.
My thoughts are with the victims – these are appalling cases of sexual assault, I thank them for coming forward. I would also like to thank the Gardaí.
I have been clear that we have a lot of work to do to achieve my aim of zero tolerance in our society for all forms of domestic, sexual and gender based violence.
Part of that is clearly demonstrating that nobody, no matter what position they hold in our society, is above the law or immune from prosecution for such crimes. Today is clear proof of that.
I will now be considering the options open to the Government and the Oireachtas.
I have asked the Attorney General to advise”
.

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