Sunday 26 January 2020

Victim feels like a 'lion without a roar' after rape

Rapist Patrick O’Brien will be sentenced next month. Pic Collins Courts.
Rapist Patrick O’Brien will be sentenced next month. Pic Collins Courts.

Sonya McLean

A former lay worker with the Church of Ireland will be sentenced next month for the rape and molestation of 14 young boys over the course of 30 years.

Patrick O'Brien (76) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 48 sample counts of indecent assault and three counts of sexual assault of the boys between 1977 and 2010.

The abuse took place throughout the State, including Kildare, Westmeath, on a boat in Loughrea in Co Galway and at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, where he worked.

He has one previous convictions for a sex assault of another boy in 1989, for which he got a one-year suspended sentence.

O'Brien, with an address at Knocklyon Road, Templeogue, Dublin, was sent forward for trial from Dublin District Court.

Judge Cormac Dunne previously ruled that the media could identify the accused following an application by RTÉ at the District Court.

All of the victims wish to preserve their anonymity. Four victims were present in court for the sentence hearing.

A number of victim impact reports were prepared but not all the men wanted their statement to be read out.

One man described how his biggest fear was that he might end up abusing his own daughter as he had read numerous cases about abused children becoming abusers themselves.

One of O'Brien's youngest victims, who was raped as a nine-year-old boy, described himself in his victim impact report as "a lion without a roar".

He said O'Brien made him feel like the abuse "was almost a rite of passage".

Det Garda Anthony Maloney told the prosecution that various victims told gardaí that they had made efforts to avoid O'Brien as children.

Det Gda Maloney said all the men were badly affected by the abuse.

Judge Melanie Greally remanded O'Brien in custody to November 10 for sentencing.

The Church of Ireland issued a statement last night, which read: "St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, and the wider Church of Ireland community have been deeply dismayed at the nature and extent of the offences which have been brought to light in the ongoing case involving Patrick O'Brien."

Irish Independent

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