Former Church of Ireland lay worker pleads guilty to abusing 14 boys

Four of Patrick O'Brien's victims were in court for this morning's hearing

Former Church of Ireland lay worker pleads guilty to abusing 14 boys

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A former Church of Ireland lay worker has pleaded guilty to abusing 14 young boys at various dates and locations over the past five decades.

Patrick O'Brien of Knocklyon Road in Templeogue, Co. Dublin, used to work as a volunteer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Four of his victims were in court this morning as it took the registrar half an hour to put all the charges to their abuser.

The court heard the 76-year-old used to take the boys away on trips and would abuse them in his car, office or on his boat.

The abuse began in 1974 and continued until 2013, taking place at the cathedral as well as other locations in Dublin and the midlands.

One victim described being abused at a wooded area near Athy, Co. Kildare, when he was just nine years old.

He said he kept reassuring him that everything was okay and that he was a "good, brave boy".

The boy told gardaí he did not tell his parents because he was scared and confused and afraid of upsetting them.

He said there was no change in Mr. O'Brien's manner afterwards and that this made him feel that what happened in the woods was normal.

The sentence hearing continues.