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Patrick Barry

Former principal “robbed victims of their childhood”

An 80 year old former national school principal. who “robbed his victims of their childhood” has received an 11 year sentence, with five years of it suspended at Ennis Circuit Court today, Wednesday.

Patrick Barry, of Well Road, Kilkee had pleaded not guilty to charges of indecently assaulting 11 women, who were pupils of his at Moyasta National School between 1964 and 1985.

Having been found guilty by a unanimous verdict by a jury last July on 59 counts of indecent assault  Barry was sentenced by Judge Gerald Keys this week.

Judge Keys structured the sentence so that Barry received a year sentence on each count of indecent assault in respect of the abuse he caused to each victim. While these sentences were to be served concurrently he ordered they run consecutively to one another giving a total sentence of 11 years.

Judge Keys said he would suspend five years of the sentence given the mitigating factors in the case, which included the defendants age and health.

A condition of the sentence was that Barry enter a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of five years from the date of his release from prison.

80 year old Kilkee man Patrick Barry is led away after being sentenced at  Ennis Circuit Court on Wednesday. Photograph by John Kelly.
80 year old Kilkee man Patrick Barry is led away after being sentenced at Ennis Circuit Court on Wednesday.


About Carol Byrne

Carol Byrne is a reporter at The Clare Champion newspaper reporting on news in the East Clare area and the arts. She also covers the courts in County Clare and has received seven national awards for this coverage from the Law Society of Ireland and a National Lottery Local Ireland national media award for Best Community Story 2019. A Masters in Journalism graduate of NUI Galway, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Limerick in Music and Media Studies, and a Higher Diploma in Irish Legal Studies. She began her career interning at The Limerick Leader and Clare FM, before taking up a full time post at The Clare Champion in 2006.

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