Patrick Harte has been sentenced to prison.

A former teacher and school principal of Sancta Maria CBS on Synge Street in Dublin has been jailed for three years for abusing seven of his pupils.

Patrick Harte, of Glendown Park, Templeogue, Dublin, indecently assaulted them in class on various dates between September 1968 and September 1970.

Three of Patrick Harte’s victims waived their right to anonymity.

One of them, Fr. Tony Conlon, said his first impressions of his new teacher when he entered Class 3C in 1968 was that he was “very aggressive.”

He used to constantly lose his temper and would whack them with a strip of leather.

His trial heard he abused all the boys at his desk during class. He’d warn the others not to look up while he molested them, inside and outside their clothes.

One of them retaliated after Harte knocked him to the ground in class one day. He then ran home to tell his parents, and they took him out of the school.

Judge Martin Nolan noted the long-term psychological damage the now 78yo had caused his victims, and before jailing him for three years, he praised the bravery of the now grown men for coming forward.

Outside court afterwards, Fr. Conlon said:

”It’s 52 years and I didn’t think that we could ever get justice, and it shows that no matter how long ago it was, that there is justice”.