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Thursday 22 February 2018

Cardinal 'was not present' at third victim interview

Breda Heffernan

CARDINAL Sean Brady was not present during a third investigation into notorious paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth, a Catholic Church spokesman insisted last night.

It was originally believed that the cardinal had been present during interviews with two child victims in 1975, and that one of these was a boy and the other a girl.

The girl, who told members of the clergy that Smyth abused her during outings between 1970 and 1975, later went on to bring a civil case against the Irish Catholic Church in 1997 and against Cardinal Brady as its head.

In a statement outlining the circumstances of the investigations involving the cardinal, the Catholic Communications Office gave details of two meetings at which he was present and said both of these were with teenage boys.

The first meeting took place in Dundalk, Co Louth, on March 29, 1975, and involved a 14-year-old boy, while the second took place at the Parochial House in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, on April 4, 1975, and was with a 15-year-old boy.

A spokesman last night insisted that the cardinal was only present during these two interviews and was not involved in any interview with a girl.

"There is a case involving a woman and all three were victims of Brendan Smyth but the cardinal only interviewed two boys."


At the first meeting Cardinal Brady, who was then a 36-year-old priest, was joined by two other priests. His role was to take notes.

At the second meeting he was alone with the child and was responsible for conducting the inquiry as well as taking notes.

Explaining the decision to ask the children to sign an oath of secrecy, the office said this was to "avoid potential collusion in the gathering of the inquiry's evidence and to ensure that the process was robust enough to withstand challenge by the perpetrator, Fr Brendan Smyth".

Irish Independent

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