News Irish News

Saturday 24 August 2019

'Crystal meth' priest in will dispute is brother of convicted paedophile

Facing charges: Fr Michael O’Leary was arrested in New York
Facing charges: Fr Michael O’Leary was arrested in New York
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A convicted paedophile is the defendant in a family will dispute, along with a suspected crystal meth-dealing priest.

Fr Michael O'Leary is currently facing four charges in the US after being arrested during a St Patrick's Day drugs bust in New York.

The 50-year-old has also had High Court proceedings issued against him over his late mother's will, along with his brother John O'Leary, who is a serial child abuser .

The Irish Independent has learned that John O'Leary (60) has at least 16 previous convictions, including the sexual abuse of young children.

In 1998 he was convicted of five counts of sexual assault involving children aged between seven and 12.

The court heard John O'Leary, of Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, pretended to take prescribed tablets to "quell his physical desires".

A Garda sergeant gave evidence that O'Leary was known as "the Jogger". He was later jailed for six months.

John O'Leary and his younger brother are currently at the centre of a High Court action aimed at settling their late mother Elizabeth O'Leary's will. But Michael O'Leary is now facing up to 14 years in a US jail if convicted of dealing crystal meth.

The priest was arrested shortly before 1am on March 17. According to court documents, he was the driver of a 2018 Toyota. Inside, officers discovered seven zip-lock bags containing 16 grams of methamphetamine, as well as two glass pipes, one of which had residue from the drugs.

He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply, which is a B felony and carries a maximum jail term of nine years. He is further charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, which carries a maximum term of five years, as well as use of drug paraphernalia.

Fr O'Leary, whose address was given as Our Lady of Consolation, a home for retired priests in the Bronx, is due to appear before Peekskill City Court, New York, on June 24. He is currently on bail of a bond of $1,000 (€886).

The case came to light after High Court proceedings here could not go ahead due to the arrest.

Siblings Nora Harpur, Barry O'Leary, Tadgh O'Leary and Marie O'Leary brought unrelated proceedings against Michael and John O'Leary.

The four plaintiffs seek an order condemning a will made by the late Ms O'Leary, of Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, in 2009 on the grounds she was not of sound mind when it was executed.

It is claimed the family home was left to the defendants and the residue of the estate was left to the other siblings.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News