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Saturday 19 October 2019

Cardinal defends decision to remain as Church leader

A defiant Cardinal Sean Brady today defended his decision to stay on as head of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Having resisted repeated calls to resign over his handling of abuse allegations against a notorious paedophile priest, Brendan Smyth, in the 1970s, the primate vowed to lead the church's efforts to improve child protection measures.

Standing outside Armagh Cathedral, the 70-year-old cleric acknowledged there were some who would not agree with him.

"It certainly wasn't an easy decision," he said.

"I have listened to a lot of people, reflected as I said I would, I listened to survivors, to priests, to religious people up and down the length of this diocese and I have decided to continue in my present role, to play my part in this diocese.

"Because I want to maintain the momentum towards better child safeguarding and not alone that, also the momentum towards renewal of the faith, which is essential here and a big challenge."

The primate faced damning criticism after it emerged he interviewed two young people in 1975 who alleged they were abused by the infamous Brendan Smyth and sworn to secrecy.

The Cardinal, who has spent weeks meeting survivors of abuse publicly and privately, did not report the case to civil authorities.

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