| 10.9°C Dublin

Victim tells of pain at boyhood abuse by priest

A former priest whose abuse of children in the 1970s and 1980s was featured in the Murphy Report will walk free despite receiving an 18-month jail term.

Patrick McCabe (77), formerly of Alameda, California, was extradited here in June 2011 and has spent the last 21 months in custody awaiting sentence.

Waiving his right to anonymity, one of his victims, James Moran (50), said McCabe's sexual assault had blighted his life. Mr Moran said he went from being a happy child to contemplating suicide at 18.

McCabe pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the indecent assault of Mr Moran at a Co Kildare school between January and April 1977.

He also pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting another boy, who cannot be named, at two locations in Dublin between January and September 1979. Both victims were 13 when McCabe molested them.

David Keane, defending, said he had been instructed by McCabe to offer a "sincere apology to the two victims for the pain and hurt he has caused". He said his client also asked for their forgiveness.

Judge Margaret Heneghan said both victims had described how the abuse at the hands of McCabe has left them "tortured, tormented and haunted". Inspector Jim Doyle told Cormac Quinn, prosecuting, he travelled to California in 2006 to interview the priest.

McCabe told him he visited Mr Moran at his boarding school after seeing a photograph of the boy at his parents' home. The then laicised priest said: "He met all the requirements to match my fetish. He was handsome and had a nice shirt and tie. I embraced him and fondled him."

The second victim was abused at the parochial house.


McCabe was arrested in the US in August 2010 and extradited to Ireland in June 2011. Last October, he was jailed for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of five schoolboys.

Judge Heneghan said she had to take into account McCabe's guilty plea, his admissions to gardai, his remorse, his age and his medical condition.

She said that McCabe's conduct was utterly abhorrent but accepted a submission from defence counsel that these offences lay at the lower end of the scale. She said this was not a case where consecutive sentences were appropriate.