THE High Court has awarded €315,000 damages to a man who was "systematically" sexually abused for three years by a former Marist Brother while he was a pupil at a school in Sligo.
Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill said he "entirely rejected" the denials by former Brother Christopher Cosgrove, of Claremorris, Co Mayo, of having sexually abused the man, now aged in his 50s, at St John's National School between 1969 and 1972.
"I had no idea what was going on. I knew he was an authority figure so I figured he must know what he was doing. I didn't like it, knew it was wrong. If anything, I was embarrassed." The words come from an adult male remembering a sexual assault when he was a child.
The man is one of 27 people who had forgotten, then recovered, memories of childhood sexual abuse. When questioned closely by psychologists from Harvard University about their feelings, the victims revealed some surprising impressions.
Many of those working in our legal system have such a poor understanding of the nature of human memory that miscarriages of justice are an almost inevitable consequence, according to a book published today by the British False Memory Society. Miscarriage of Memory, edited by William Burgoyne, Norman Brand, Madeline Greenhalgh and