Charity boss Finlay was abused by religious brothers

Alan O'Keeffe

BARNADO'S chief executive Fergus Finlay was sexually and physically abused by two religious brothers when he was a boy. But his father took action.

Finlay (62) spoke publicly about the abuse for the first time to reject the notion that no-one understood what sex abuse was in the 1960s or 1970s or later.

"I knew what it was, I knew it was abuse. I told my father about it, he knew it was abuse, he knew exactly what action needed to be taken," he said. "As far as I know, the action taken ensured no other child was abused by the same person."

He rejected excuses from Cardinal Sean Brady who claimed that, as a 35-year-old priest who interviewed a boy in 1975 about abuse complaints, his role then was just to pass on his interview notes and report to his bishop.