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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Cardinal Brady 'did not tell gardai of sex abuse'

Primate sued by victim of Brendan Smyth


Cardinal Sean Brady has been identified in legal papers as one of three priests who failed to report to gardai the sex abuse claims of two victims of the notorious paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The victims say that when they met with the then Fr Brady and the two other priests in 1975 to tell of their abuse they were asked to provide a sworn undertaking that they would not discuss the meetings with anyone other than authorised clergy.

Almost 20 years later Fr Smyth was finally convicted of 17 counts of sexual abuse. He later pleaded guilty to another 74 counts. The outrage surrounding delays in his case subsequently led to the collapse of the government in 1994.

It subsequently emerged that Fr Smyth had abused children as far back as the 1940s and that allegations were brought to the attention of the hierarchy in 1968.

Yesterday the Primate of All Ireland confirmed that in 1975, when he was the part-time secretary to the then Bishop of Kilmore, he had attended two meetings with victims of Fr Smyth.

The Catholic Information Office said that in one meeting in Co Louth, the Cardinal had acted as "recording secretary for the process involved". In a subsequent meeting, he had asked the questions and recorded the answers given.

"At those meetings the complainants signed undertakings, on oath, to respect the confidentiality of the information-gathering process.

"As instructed, and as a matter of urgency, Fr Brady passed both reports to Bishop McKiernan for his immediate action," a statement issued on behalf of Cardinal Brady read.

However, the Sunday Independent has learned that Cardinal Brady is currently being sued in his personal capacity and as Primate of All Ireland by one of the victims who met him in 1975.

The victim has revealed that she was made to sign an oath saying she would not discuss her meeting with three priests, including the now Cardinal, with anyone other than authorised clergy.

Subsequent to the 1975 meetings which Cardinal Brady attended, Fr Smyth went on to become one of the most notorious paedophiles in the history of the State.

His arrest in 1994 led to the collapse of a Fianna Fail/Labour coalition government when the handling of an extradition request from the RUC by the Irish Attorney-General's office led to a further delay of some months in Fr Smyth facing trial.

Sunday Independent

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