herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Cleared, the priest accused of being a fake psychiatrist

THE priest alleged to have falsely advertised his services as a psychiatrist in a national newspaper has had the case against him dismissed.

Anthony Egan (57) had placed the ad after he was duped into paying €1,000 to complete a fraudulent degree in psychiatry from a fake university in an internet scam.

Gardai began an investigation after the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, saw the advertisement and contacted them.

A judge has dismissed the charge against Fr Egan on "technical" grounds after the DPP conceded a legal point made by the defence.

A court heard Fr Egan placed the advertisement because he wanted to build up his client base and earn some money.

The priest, of Botanic Road in Glasnevin, had denied that he, as an unregistered medical practitioner, falsely advertised his services, contrary to the Medical Practitioners Act, 2007.

His defence solicitor, Dara Robinson, had argued the charge specifically relates to unregistered medical practitioners, which Fr Egan is not, so he could not be guilty of an offence.

The case was heard last week at Dublin District Court and was back before Judge Grainne Malone for a decision on the defence submissions.

A State solicitor said the prosecution was conceding the points made and applying to withdraw the charge. Judge Malone said it was appropriate to dismiss the case on "those very narrow technical grounds".

Garda Tara Dolan previously told the court she was contacted by Dr Martin about an advertisement in the Irish Times in which Fr Egan advertised himself as a psychiatrist,.

The garda said she later visited Fr Egan's home and asked to see his qualifications.

The garda said Fr Egan admitted he was not a registered doctor in this jurisdiction but claimed to have parallel qualifications and to have studied in California, London and Germany.

aphelan@herald.ie

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