Friday 24 January 2020

Clerical abuse victim poured diesel on altar after 'derisory' offer

Ian Kidd’s actions caused €100,000 worth of damage. Picture: Collins
Ian Kidd’s actions caused €100,000 worth of damage. Picture: Collins

Declan Brennan

A man poured diesel inside a church causing around €100,000 in damage because he felt upset by an offer of compensation over clerical child sex abuse.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told that in 2018 Ian Kidd (53) settled a High Court case against the Catholic Church.

On July 26, 2017, he got a letter from solicitors for the Church with a "final offer" of €30,000 for the abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest.

Kidd, with an address at Daytona, Brittas, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage at St Agnes Church, St Agnes Road, Crumlin, on July 26, 2017.

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Judge Elma Sheahan placed Kidd on a probation bond for 12 months and adjourned the case to January 18, 2021.

She said that during that time Kidd must engage with the Probation Service and attend any addiction or mental health service his probation officer recommended.

His lawyers told the court that Kidd found the offer from the Church derisory and became upset. He filled a can with €5 worth of diesel and went to St Agnes Church.

He walked up to the altar and began pouring the fuel on the floor while shouting at "terrified" parishioners in the church to "get out, get out".

"He had a cigarette and may have had the wherewithal to ignite the diesel but he did not," Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, told the court.

The court heard that the bulk of the damage was caused when diesel was spilled on the altar, which is made of Carrara marble. A monstrance - which holds the communion host - a crucifix and a Paschal candle were also damaged.

A garda negotiating team arrived at the church and Kidd spoke to one garda about the historic abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest, now deceased.

The court was told gardaí received multiple complaints of abuse allegedly committed by this priest. A High Court case, in which Kidd said he was repeatedly abused, resulted in a financial offer.

In a victim impact statement, St Agnes parish priest Fr Paul Tyrell said parishioners had been terrified by the incident.

He added: "St Agnes has no desire to compound previous suffering [the accused] may have suffered in this parish in previous years."

Irish Independent

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