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Sunday 18 March 2018

I could have gone to guards at any time, admits cardinal

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

CARDINAL Sean Brady yesterday became visibly flustered when challenged about why he failed to report evidence of child rape to police.

Dr Brady admitted that there was nothing stopping him from going to civil authorities when he learned of accusations against serial paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975.

But he refused to take any personal responsibility for the failure, saying it wasn't his place to report the accusations and that he did what he was "sent there to do".

Dr Brady took notes when 14-year-old Brendan Boland, from Co Louth, revealed to a church investigation how he had been raped by the priest.

Following the response of Dr Brady, who was a 36-year-old priest at the time, and the church on the matter, Fr Smyth went on to continue to abuse other children.

"I followed out in my actions, what I was sent there to do, to get the evidence, to bring it to the people who had the power to stop this," he said.

"No, I didn't have any power over this man," Dr Brady said, when it was put to him by the Irish Independent that he could have reported the matter to the police himself.

He confirmed that he wasn't forbidden by any of his seniors to report the matter to civil authorities; nor did he make further enquires to ensure that the matter had been dealt with.

"I reported it to my superior, who then reported it to a superior of the priest in question and it was up to them then to take things on.

"That would still be the case today," he said.

Dr Brady insisted that he thought something would be done about the allegations.

"I trusted that it would happen, that's why when I discovered later on that in fact it hadn't happened, I was dismayed".

There was no desire on his part to cover up what had happened, the cardinal said.

"It was to make sure that this abuse stopped and the only place we could ensure that it was stopped was by having the movements of the man restricted. The person who could do that was the superior," he said.

Asked if he took any responsibility for the continued sexual assault on children by Fr Smyth after the investigation, Dr Brady was unapologetic.

"That was the failures of others who didn't follow up what they were being told," he said.

"I've taken responsibility that the overall response of the church was deficient at the time and I regret that very much."

In an interview with RTE yesterday, Dr Brady also said that he didn't realise the impact that the abuse was having on the children.

Irish Independent

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