Former St. Colman’s Abbey principal to stand trial on historic sex abuse charges

August 6, 2018

A former Newry primary school principal and Christian Brother is set to stand trial next year after pleading not guilty to over 40 historic sexual abuse charges.

Eighty-two year old Brother Paul Dunleavy, whose address was given as the Christian Brothers Province Centre on Dublin’s Griffith Avenue, is the former teacher and principal of the now closed St Colman’s Abbey primary school in Newry.

Appearing at Belfast Crown Court last week, the pensioner denied a string of sexual abuse charges against young boys spanning from 1969 to 1974 – including 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.

The case is understood to involve nine complainants, one of whom is now deceased. 

Judge David McFarland released the Christian Brother on continuing bail, ahead of a trial date to be set for 2019. The case will be listed for pre-trial applications next month.