Saturday 23 March 2019

Hospital has still not contacted gardai on Al sex assault claims

A psychiatric patient has accused Mr Porter of assaulting him
A psychiatric patient has accused Mr Porter of assaulting him

Gardai have still not been contacted by St Patrick's Mental Health Services over alleged inappropriate behaviour by comedian Al Porter.

The former Blind Date host is alleged to have sexually assaulted a young patient when he visited the South Dublin psychiatric hospital in 2015.

On November 20, the hospital received a complaint from the patient - a student in his 20s - about the alleged incident.

However, more than three months on, gardai have still not been contacted by the James Street hospital.

"Neither Kilmainham Garda Station, which covers James Street, nor the district HQ, have been contacted by the hospital about this matter," said a senior gardai source.


"If it had been reported to gardai elsewhere, officers in Kilmainham would be aware of it."

A spokesperson for St Patrick's Mental Health Services did not respond yesterday when the Herald asked why the alleged incident had not been reported to gardai.

In a statement in November, the hospital said it was investigating the allegation.

It said it would not be commenting further until the investigation was complete.

HSE guidelines state that, where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a criminal act has been committed, the matter must be reported to gardai.

Health care agencies are also obliged to carry out their own investigations into such allegations.

In a separate case, Pearse Street Garda Station is investigating an allegation that a man had been groped by Mr Porter.

The man made the allegation in November and a full investigation has been launched into all aspects of the case.

Al Porter has not yet been interviewed by gardai and no arrests have been made.

Mr Porter was forced to resign from a number of jobs after he was hit with a wave of allegations of inappropriate behaviour in November.

The comedian responded by saying that at no time did he intend his "flamboyant and outrageous public persona" to upset anyone.

A bishop has subsequently appealed for people to be more understanding towards the comedian following his fall from grace.

Dublin's auxiliary bishop, Eamonn Walsh, said in his annual Christmas homily that he would like to see less judgment of the former Today FM and TV3 presenter.

Expanding on what he said in Mass, he told the Herald how there was always two sides to every story.

"Let's not jump to judgment without the facts," he said.

"Furthermore, we have to be aware that there may be judicial proceedings down the line, so I wouldn't want to say anything that would interfere with that."


The comedian went out partying on New Year's Eve in a bid to end his "annus horribilis" on a high and begin 2018 on a cheery note.

The Tallaght man rang in the New Year in the trendy Pygmalion bar on South William Street in Dublin's city centre.

"He was with a group of friends and looked like he was enjoying himself," said an insider.

"He went upstairs after a while and a couple of people went over to him and wished him well."

This was the first public appearance by the popular Irish comedian since last year's allegations.

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