Friday 24 March 2017

Beyond the grave, Smyth's evil acts have left his order with a huge cross to bear

With massive debt and dwindling numbers, the Norbertines have accepted their fate, writes Jerome Reilly

Fr Gerard Cusack
Fr Gerard Cusack
Brendan Smyth
Brendan Smyth's grave
Kilnacrott Abbey
Jerome Reilly

Jerome Reilly

THERE is now a headstone over the grave of Fr Brendan Smyth but though he is dead now for 14 years, the convicted child rapist still casts a long shadow over his abbey and the innocent priests from his order.

Now hideously in debt as a result of civil claims made against them, the Norbertine Order at Kilnacrott Abbey needs to sell the property -- but prospective buyers want all trace of Smyth and his horrific legacy removed before they will buy the abbey, just outside Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan.

Three years ago it was worth €3m but the property crash has made that estimate hopelessly optimistic.

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