May 2017

Prominent academic serving jail term for sex abuse of nephew

A prominent legal academic who authored a definitive legal text now in its eighth edition is serving a 10-year sentence for sexually abusing his nephew.

Dubliner Brian Doolan (72), a former senior law lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology and well-known legal author, was jailed more than a year ago but could not be named at the time because of court reporting rules.

He pleaded not guilty to 44 charges of sexual abuse, including 11 counts of rape. He was convicted on 42 of the charges and sentenced to 12 years, with two suspended.

Now, however, his nephew and victim, Stephen Kershaw, has publicly spoken about his ordeal at the hands of his uncle.

He is highly critical of the justice system, saying he felt under attack during the trial.

Doolan worked as a criminal barrister as a younger man before going on to lecture in the law.

He was senior lecturer in legal studies in the business faculty at Dublin Institute of Technology.

He wrote books regarded as the definitive works of reference for those studying in the field and for legal practitioners.

In fact Doolan was writing a book that included chapters on the finer points of children’s rights under the law at a time when he knew a major investigation into his own crimes against children was nearing conclusion.

In the early 1990s, Doolan became one of the first single men in the State to adopt a child from abroad, though his history of abuse was not known to the authorities at the time the adoption was approved.

His son, who is originally from Eastern Europe, is now an adult living in Dublin.

Meanwhile, Doolan registered a bogus birth in Dublin in 1984 using his own name, but with a false address for a property in Castleknock that did not exist, in preparation for a bid, gardaí believe, to travel to Asia and acquire another child to bring back to Ireland.