| 8.9°C Dublin

Children were left with nowhere to turn in a cold, uncaring church, Cardinal Brady


Dr Sean Brady: 'In the name of God, Cardinal, go – and go now'.

Dr Sean Brady: 'In the name of God, Cardinal, go – and go now'.

Dr Sean Brady: 'In the name of God, Cardinal, go – and go now'.

• This has to be one of the worst weeks for members of the Catholic Church in Ireland. For the past number of years, we have had the Ferns Report, Cloyne Report, Murphy Report, etc -- and we still don't know where it's going to end.

Like most normal human beings, I abhor the sexual abuse of children by anyone -- but when it's by Catholic priests, albeit only a tiny fraction, it's unforgivable.

I have followed the story of the Brendan Smyth case, that evil man who did so much damage to a huge number of children; but when it became apparent that you, Cardinal Sean Brady, knew in 1975 of this abuse, and you interviewed those children, your only defence and reply was that you took notes and passed on the information to your bishop; and, again using your own words, this was where your responsibility finished. And you now admit you only learned this abuse did not cease 20 years later.

My God, you were a man of 35 years old taking notes of abuse from a child. You interviewed the other named boy who was also abused and it was confirmed for you -- and your only defence is "you did your duty and what was expected of you".

Do you realise even now at this late stage that your inaction of no follow-up, no inquiry to your fellow priest, no reporting to the child/children's parents, allowed an evil, depraved, so-called priest to continue abusing the same children and others?

I watched your interview when you were asked a straight question: "Why did you not as a human being follow up your note taking?" Your cold answer was that you "did what a note-taker was obliged to do, and passed it on in trust to people who had the power to remove him".

You mentioned you had other things to do. In my opinion the other things were your own advancement up the 'ladder in the Catholic Church of authority' to become leader of the church in Ireland.

Well, let me make myself crystal clear -- you did not show leadership in 1975, you did not show leadership in the late 1990s, and you most certainly are not showing leadership now.

As far as I am concerned, and my husband and family members, you were rewarded for your silence, and Fr Brian D'Arcy and his fellow good priests were censured and silenced for speaking out.

As a 65-year-old pensioner and a member of the Catholic Church now, and all my life, I write this letter to you, not to ask, not to plead or beg you to consider your position, but to demand that you step down from your lofty height as cardinal and Primate of all-Ireland.

Come out from under the protection of Rome and face up to the fact that you are responsible, along with others, for allowing Smyth to continue his depravity and evil abuse of innocent children for many years after you took those notes.

I write this letter more in sorrow than in anger but I feel ashamed. In the name of God, go -- and go now.

Carmel Dawson
Tullow, Co Carlow

Irish Independent