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Sunday 21 September 2014

Extradited priest who abused boys to walk free

Fergus Black and Declan Brennan

Published 23/03/2013 | 05:00

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A FORMER priest whose abuse of children in the 1970s and 1980s was featured in the Murphy Report will walk free, despite receiving an 18-month jail term.

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Patrick McCabe (77) pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys.

But McCabe, formerly of Alameda, California, who has been in custody in Ireland since June 2011, is likely to walk free this weekend even though he received an 18-month jail term.

Victim James Moran (50) waived his right to anonymity to speak out in the hope that the exposure would encourage others to come forward.

"All I've ever wanted was my day in court and this is my day in court," he said yesterday.

McCabe, who has spent the past 21 months in custody after being extradited here from the US, held his head in his hands as Judge Margaret Heneghan imposed an 18-month sentence, but because it was backdated to June 2011, when he went into custody, he is expected to be freed imminently.

Following sentencing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Mr Moran spoke of the impact the abuse had on his life.

"It has affected every part of my life through the years – relationships, parents, family, friends, everything. But today is the end of this chapter."

While he had suffered "horrific years", he was "the lucky one" who had been able to stand outside the court and speak out.

"There are hundreds, poss-ibly thousands of boys, men who don't have this opportunity, so today is partly dedicated to the ones who haven't been able to speak," he said.

Abhorrent

McCabe pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting Mr Moran at a Co Kildare school between January and April 1977.

He also pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of another boy at two Dublin locations between January and September 1979.

David Keane, defending, said he had been instructed by McCabe to offer a "sincere apology to the two victims".

Judge Heneghan said McCabe's conduct was "utterly abhorrent".

Irish Independent

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