Thursday 17 October 2019

Ex-priest jailed for abusing student

Henry Moloney outside court
Henry Moloney outside court

Conor Kane

A former priest who taught music in one of the country's best known private schools has been given a four-year prison term for indecently assaulting a student in the 1980s.

Henry Moloney (77), with an address at Kimmage Manor in Dublin, appeared before Clonmel Circuit Court yesterday. The court previously heard Moloney told Pope Francis in a letter last year he had a history of "abusing young boys".

He was given consecutive sentences totalling four years.

Moloney had denied all charges against him in a trial earlier this month but was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault, an eighth charge having been withdrawn.

The court heard he had previous convictions for indecent assault.

The five-day trial heard that the abuse started within a week or two of the beginning of a school year in the 1980s at Rockwell College in Co Tipperary after Fr Henry Moloney, as he was then, asked the victim to join the choir.

Moloney was the choirmaster and played the organ in the school's chapel and the first incident was in the organ gallery, the victim told the court.

The victim said he thought at the time he couldn't tell anyone "because no-one will believe me over a priest".

Eventually, Fr Moloney asked him to go to his room in the college and abused him there, starting with "feeling me or groping me" and getting worse "to the point where you would call it rape, buggery," the victim said during the trial.

Judge Tom Teehan said the effects of the abuse on the victim were "devastating" and described Moloney's actions as "an enormously damaging breach of trust".

Irish Independent

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