Saturday 24 March 2018

Paedophile Smyth's abuses to be investigated

Inquiry: Fr Brendan Smyth
Inquiry: Fr Brendan Smyth

Deborah McAleese

The crimes of paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth are to be investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in the North.

In what is expected to be one of the most disturbing modules of the inquiry, the team will focus on Smyth's serial abuse of young children while they were in the care of nuns.

In January, the Sisters of Nazareth accepted that Smyth abused children living at their two south Belfast residential homes, Nazareth House and Nazareth Lodge.

The inquiry team has decided to extend their remit to include issues arising from Smyth's actions. Evidence around Smyth's abuse will be heard at the end of next month.

Smyth was at the centre of one of the first paedophile scandals to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland. He was convicted of dozens of offences against children and died just a month into a 12-year prison sentence.

The disastrous handling of his extradition from the Republic led to the 1994 collapse of the Fianna Fáil and Labour coalition government.

Irish Independent

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