Retired Clare teacher guilty of indecent assault

THERE were emotional scenes at Ennis Courthouse this afternoon as a retired teacher was found guilty on 59 counts of indecently assaulting former pupils at a Clare primary school.
Victims wept and embraced each other as a jury returned guilty verdicts against Pat Barry (80), of Well Road, Kilkee, Clare.
Barry had denied 67 counts of indecently assaulting 11 girls at Moyasta National School between 1964 and 1985.
Judge Gerald Keyes had directed the jury of seven women and five men to find Mr Barry not guilty on eight of the 67 counts.
At the conclusion of the 11-day trial at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court, the jury today returned unanimous guilty verdicts on the remaining 59 counts.
The jury deliberated for five hours and 35 minutes, over two days.
They returned unanimous verdicts, 30 minutes after being told by Judge Keyes he would accept majority verdicts in each of the counts.
Over three weeks, the trial heard from 19 prosecution witnesses including the 11 female complainants.
In evidence, the women detailed how Barry would grope and touch them on a regular basis when they were in fifth and sixth class.
A woman recalled how Barry would call them to the top of the class and hold her between his legs while he sat at his desk. The court heard he would press her hand onto his genitals.
One woman said Barry would use the girls like “toys” whenever he got an “urge”.
Another woman recalled how Barry would squeeze into her seat beside her and put his hand up her shirt and on her private area. “That was one of his favourites,” she said.
All touching took place outside the girl’s clothes, the court was told.
During the first week of the trial, one woman told the jury how, “That man molested me more times than I care to remember.”
Seven people called by the defence to give evidence, told the jury that Barry was a good teacher, a nice man and that there was a happy atmosphere in his classroom.
The former teacher had been granted anonymity throughout the duration of the trial.
But today after the verdicts were returned, Counsel for the State, Anthony Sammon SC, told Judge Keyes, it was the “express wish of the complainants” that he now be named.
Judge Keyes lifted the reporting restrictions on the accused.
Barry served as principal at Moyasta National School from 1964 to 1989.
The Garda investigation into him was sparked by a complaint made in 2010 by a former student, referred to in the trial as Mr A.
That man, who was not a complainant in this case, has since passed away. Gardaí took 163 statements during the course of their investigation.
The case was adjourned to October 28 when a date for sentencing will be fixed.
Barry, who will now be placed on the Sex Offender’s Register, was remanded on continuing bail.


  1. Well done to the young women who had the bravery for coming forward to make complaints to the Garda Siochana, to the Garda Siochana who investigated and to Anthony Salmon SC for a successful state prosecution. I hope these brave women see justice on 28 October 2014.


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