Retired surgeon accused of groping boys claims he has ‘senile dementia’


Retired surgeon accused of groping boys claims he has ‘senile dementia’

Accused: Retired surgeon Michael Shine has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Picture: Collins
Accused: Retired surgeon Michael Shine has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Picture: Collins

A retired surgeon accused of groping a number of boys in his care has told a jury he has “got some senile dementia”.

Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to thirteen charges of indecent assault allegedly committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda.

On the 14th day of the trial, Mr Shine told Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that a nurse was always present whenever he had an appointment with a patient.

Mr Shine agreed that he saw around 18,000 patients a year while working at Lourdes hospital. When asked if it was possible that a nurse was not present for every single one of these appointments, Mr Shine said a nurse was always present and said that “at this stage in my life, I have got some senile dementia”.

It was put to him that one complainant had given evidence that Mr Shine had groped his genitals during an appointment following surgery on his finger. Mr Shine said that he had no memory of it and said that “at no time would I grope any patient”.

Ms Noctor asked Mr Shine how he could rule out the possibility of the allegations being true if he says he has no memory whatsoever of treating any of the complainants.

“I never indecently assaulted any patient or groped any patient,” replied Mr Shine.

Ms Noctor asked him if it would be inappropriate, as has been alleged by a complainant, for a doctor to masturbate the penis of a patient who presented with abdominal pain. Mr Shine remarked “Are we crazy? Are we crazy or what?” before agreeing that it would be an inappropriate examination.

When asked if it there was a medical justification for performing a rectal exam while simultaneously masturbating the penis, he said it “would be impossible. Impossible. Impossible.” Mr Shine said that there was no medical justification because it is physically impossible.

Ms Noctor asked about an allegation that following an operation on an appendix he examined the genitals of the patient, pulled their foreskin down and suggested a possible circumcision. Mr Shine said to think that he would examine a patient to determine if they needed a circumcision following surgery on their appendix “is so nonsensical, it is so crazy”.

Mr Shine said he worked for 12 hours every day of the week and that Lourdes hospital was busy at all times. He did not accept that there was ever “quiet times” at the hospital at any point in which he worked there between 1964 and 1995.


#bb-iawr-inarticle- { clear: both; margin: 0 0 15px; }

He said that his decisions would sometimes be challenged by junior doctors, but that he always made the final decision. He gave the example that some patients would come into the hospital on a dozen different medications and that he would sometimes say to stop all drug treatment to see which ones they really needed.

Mr Shine said that a junior doctor would object and say that the patient would “be dead in the morning” if they ceased all drug treatment, but come the morning the patient would still be alive and that they would figure out the treatment from there.

He agreed it was fair to say that he was respected by those working under him, but absolutely ruled out that any of them feared him.

The trial continues tomorrow before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.

Online Editors


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here