Saturday 29 November 2014

Brady did not act on Smyth sex abuse claim says victim

Greg Harkin and Independent.ie reporters

Published 02/05/2012 | 05:00

Cardinal Sean Brady
Paedophile cleric Brendan Smyth

CARDINAL Sean Brady is expected to release a full statement later today after refusing to resign over fresh claims about his role in the cover-up of abuse by serial paedophile cleric Brendan Smyth.

Previously unseen documents suggest that he was an investigator into paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth -- and not a just a note taker.



Brendan Boland, from Co Louth, a victim of serial abuser Brendan Smyth, when he was just 12, told how information about his evil deeds was not passed onto parents of other victims by the inquiry team and two boys continued to be abused after the inquiry



The allegations are made in a BBC documentary which also revealed that a hand-written note for a church inquiry into Smyth in 1975, at which the then Fr Brady was present, puts him in an investigative role.



The note, in Dr Brady's handwriting, refers to the allegations against Smyth and that he, Fr Brady, had been "dispatched to investigate them".



A document signed by Brendan Boland, who was sworn to secrecy after complaining of being abused by Smyth is also counter-signed by Fr Brady.



Limited details of his involvement in the secret inquiry emerged in recent years, but Dr Brady has always insisted that his role was that of a notary without powers and that he simply did his job.



Dr Brady said in 2009 that he would resign if any of his actions had led to the abuse of children.



Last night he faced fresh questions about the extent of his role in the process whereby children were sworn to silence and Smyth continued to abuse young people.



But in a statement to the Irish Independent, the church said the BBC had taken critical comments out of context.



"Fr Brady had no authority over Brendan Smyth and the inquiry he was asked to assist in was under the management of his bishop, not him.



"Fr Sean Brady believed the boys in 1975. He acted quickly by reporting all available information to his bishop, Bishop Francis MacKiernan, so that action could be taken against Fr Brendan Smyth by his abbot, Fr Kevin Smyth. It would be totally disingenuous to suggest that Fr Brady, in 1975, had the power to stop Brendan Smyth."



The documentary, 'The Shame of the Catholic Church', last night saw Brendan Boland, speak at length for the first time about how he was abused -- and how he gave evidence to Dr Brady and two other priests in 1975.



"I felt alone, scared, I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know what they were going to ask me. I was only 14 at the time," he said.



One of the questions put to Mr Boland, then just 14, was: "Did you ever get to like it (the abuse)?"



The Cavan man, who is now 51, also named five other people who he believed had been abused in his statement at the time. Despite this, one of these five victims told the BBC that the abuse continued for a year afterwards.



At the end of the questioning Mr Boland was handed a Bible and instructed to swear and sign an oath of secrecy.



Signed



"And then I signed it and the other signature on the document was Father John B Brady, now Sean Brady Cardinal of Ireland," he told the programme.



BBC reporter Darragh MacIntyre said: "The evidence reveals that Cardinal Sean Brady had the names and addresses of children who were being abused or were at risk of being abused by Smyth, but failed to ensure that they were protected."



But the church last night hit back at the BBC and said: "It is critical to note that Cardinal Brady's comment in 2009 that he would resign if by his action children were put at risk was specifically in response to a question about if he was a bishop with overall responsibility for dealing with allegations at the time of his action or inaction. But he wasn't a bishop in 1975, he was a priest who was asked by his own bishop to record evidence in a process that was headed by more senior clergy."



The One in Four group said the new revelations required an explanation from Dr Brady.



It said that the documentary suggested that many children could have been protected from Smyth if Dr Brady had not been so interested in protecting the church.



"It will be heartbreaking for survivors to realise that their suffering could have been avoided if only action had been taken," said executive director Maeve Lewis.



Justice Minister Alan Shatter said today that the cases detailed in the programme were very disturbing and tragic.



He told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One, that it was up to Cardinal Brady to make whatever comment he deemed appropriate.



Irish Independent

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