Wednesday 21 March 2018

Worrying links existed between serial abusers

Archbishop Martin asked gardai to probe the possibility that there was a paedophile ring within Church, writes Maeve Sheehan

WHEN Archbishop Diarmuid Martin reached into the vaults of the Dublin Archdiocese to review the files on the hundreds of children abused by its priests, he was worried enough by the connections between paedophile priests that he asked gardai to investigate the possibility that a paedophile ring existed in the Church. There was no direct evidence to convince Judge Yvonne Murphy's inquiry when it reported last week. But there were enough worrying connections between some of the 46 priests investigated.

Among the many vile horrors exposed in the Murphy report, one of the most sinister was the litany of unspoken connections that existed between a handful of priests. The stories of their perversion hint at an appalling vista of paedophile clerics who hunted children in groups under the cloak of the Church, fuelling each other's aberrant desires, sharing the names of children they groomed for depraved acts, and passing their victims from one to the other.

The evil union between Fr Francis McCarthy and Fr Bill Carney began when they were seminarians at Clonliffe College. The priests, both born in 1950, were ordained in 1974. They were still students when they plotted their evil course. During their final years at Clonliffe College they stalked the residential homes where orphaned or troubled children were housed in punishment or poverty. They targeted St Joseph's in Dun Laoghaire, the Grange in south Dublin, St Vincent's in Drogheda and Lakelands in Sandymount, and abused children in each.

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