Judge convicted of sexual assault resigns

Judge convicted of sexual assault resigns

Judge Gerard O’Brien has resigned as a judge of the Circuit Court in the wake of his conviction on charges of attempted rape and sexual assault.

His resignation comes after the Attorney General was asked to advise the government and Oireachtas on their options following his conviction, as no sitting judge has ever been removed from office in the history of the State.

Article 35.4 of the Constitution provides that judges can be removed from office “for stated misbehaviour or incapacity”, though these words have never been judicially interpreted.

Judge O’Brien was convicted in late December of sexually abusing six men between 1991 and 1997 while working as a Dublin schoolteacher. The victims, some of whom were his students, were aged between 17 and 24 at the time, while he was in his 30s.

He is due to be sentenced on 4 March and has not yet indicated whether he intends to appeal against his conviction.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said Judge O’Brien’s resignation had been conveyed to the president on Friday.

“The minister will be making no further comment on this matter prior to the court finalising the case by sentencing, which is adjourned to 4 March,” it added.

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