Retired surgeon Michael Shine found guilty of groping seven boys

A retired surgeon has been found guilty of groping seven boys in his care over a period of three decades.

Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 13 charges of indecent assault committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda on dates between 1971 to 1992.

On day 17 of the trial a jury of two women and eight men returned guilty verdicts, having deliberated for just over six hours.

Judge Martin Nolan adjourned the matter until February 22 next for sentencing and remanded Shine on bail until that date.

During the trial, the first complainant told the court that Shine groped his genitals during two appointments in 1988 following surgery on his finger when he was aged 15. He said that during the first examination Shine rested his head on his chest and that his breathing became more intense and “creepy, to be honest”.

Another man said that Shine prevented his father from being present for an examination following surgery on his testicles in 1985 when he was aged 13. He said that Shine placed his hand on his penis during the exam and began to move his foreskin up and down.

A third witness said he attended hospital due to tearing his foreskin during sexual intercourse when he was aged 15.

The man said that during an examination on his injury, Shine began to masturbate him.

The fourth complainant in the case said that he was hit by a car during the summer of 1972 when he was aged 14 and that he required surgery on his right knee. He said that Shine would come to his room in the evening to play chess with him during his stay in hospital.

The man said that during a follow up appointment Shine began “playing with” and “fondling” his genitals and stroking his penis, telling him that “you could tell a lot this way”. He said he did not think that Shine ever examined his knee.

A fifth man said that Shine inserted a gloved finger into his anus and his other hand began “palpating” his genitals during an examination in 1974 when he was aged around 11. He said that afterwards Shine patted him on the head and told him he was a “good boy”.

The man said that during a later stay in hospital Shine would examine his wound from surgery and that every time he did so he would go on to “palpate” his penis and scrotum. He said that Shine did this every day up until the day he was discharged from hospital.

A sixth man said that Shine performed surgery on his appendix at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in 1971 when he was aged 13. He said that during a follow-up examination Shine began fondling his testicles and stroking his penis, saying that he needed to check that nothing was damaged.

The final complainant in the case said that Shine took his penis in his hand and began to masturbate it during an examination in 1975 when he was aged 13. He said that this continued for around 10 to 15 minutes.

Shine denied doing anything improper during examinations with any of the complainants and said he has “no memory whatsoever” of ever treating any of them. He also said that he never played chess.

Judge Nolan thanked the jury for their attendance and for doing their duty.

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