Former scout leader admits sex assaults over 22-year period
Businessman targeted 10 teen boys, two-year probe uncovered
April 24 2021 02:30 AM
A former scout leader has pleaded guilty to sexually or indecently assaulting a total of 10 boys over a 22-year period.
David Barry (72), a retired Cork businessman and former scout leader, pleaded guilty to 29 charges of indecent assault, sexual assault and attempted sexual assault stretching back to 1986.
He was formerly a senior member of the scouting movement in Ireland and ranked as one of the best-known scout leaders in Cork for decades.
Barry, with an address at Montrose, Firgrove Gardens, Bishopstown, Co Cork, admitted the charges when he appeared before Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
He pleaded guilty to 29 charges of indecent assault and sexual assault on various dates unknown over a period stretching from December 12, 1986 to June 30, 2008.
The pleas were entered on Barry’s first appearance before Cork Circuit Criminal Court, having been initially charged before Cork District Court last December.
The offences involved a total of 10 teenage boys and involved indecent assault, sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.
All the charges referred to a specific address in Cork. No further details of the circumstances of the charges were outlined before the court.
The boys – all former members of the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland (CBSI) and scout movement – had levelled the complaints which triggered a major Garda investigation.
The investigation ran for almost two years.
Nothing can be published which might identify any of the victims involved.
The complainants are all now middle-aged men.
All 10 boys involved were aged between 12 and 16 years at the time of the assaults, which all occurred at an address in Cork.
Barry appeared in court yesterday wearing a grey suit, white shirt, striped tie and a dark overcoat.
He remained silent except to confirm guilty pleas to the 29 charges, replying individually to all the charges put to him: “Guilty, my lord.”
The charges involved 28 counts of either sexual or indecent assault.
The final charge, the 29th, involved attempted sexual assault.
The majority of the charges involved dates in Cork in the 1980s and 1990s.
Defence counsel Tom Creed SC said medical reports were being prepared from Barry’s family doctor and from his cardiologist. Both medical reports are expected to be ready shortly.
“He is not in the best of health,” Mr Creed said.
He indicated that a special report is also being prepared on his client by a psychological assessment service familiar to the court. This should prove to be of benefit to the judge for sentencing.
However, that report will not be ready for another four weeks.
Judge Ó Donnabháin was told by State solicitor Frank Nyhan that a series of victim impact statements will also have to be prepared from the 10 complainants involved, which should be ready by June. He was further advised that sentencing in the matter will take some time.
Judge Ó Donnabháin adjourned the case for sentencing until June 25 and remanded Barry on continuing bail.
The bail conditions required by Cork District Court last December included that he surrender his passport, undertake not to apply for new travel documents and sign on each week at a named Cork Garda Station.
Judge Ó Donnabháin indicated that an entire morning session of Cork Circuit Criminal Court will be set aside for the sentencing hearing.
When first charged last December, Cork District Court heard that Barry replied to the arresting officer at Togher Garda Station: “I am so sorry for anyone I hurt.”
As well as being a high profile scout leader, Barry operated a well-known Cork city centre business for years.