herald

Monday 22 April 2019

Dublin priest (85) held over 40 allegations of sex abuse against boys

Specialist officers at Pearse Street Garda Station led inquiry
Specialist officers at Pearse Street Garda Station led inquiry

An 85-year-old Dublin priest has been arrested and is likely to be charged with 40 different sexual abuse offences against four boys.

His arrest came as part of a major historical abuse inquiry by specialist detectives based at Pearse Street Garda Station.

The cleric, who is now based in the South Dublin area, was a teacher for decades in a south inner city school in the capital.

Investigated

He is alleged to have attacked four boys at the school between 1972 and 1974 and has been probed in relation to the allegations for a number of years.

He was recently arrested in relation to the probe but was said to be unco-operative in relation to the investigation.

Sources say that he has been investigated by gardai for a number of years in relation to the case.

He has been investigated for the indecent assault of four juvenile Dublin boys who are now middle-aged men.

Sources say that gardai believe they have enough evidence to charge him for dozens of counts of indecent assault and he is likely to face a court date in the coming weeks.

If convicted of the offences, the octogenarian - who has no previous criminal convictions - is likely to face a jail sentence.

Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Dublin told of his shock at finding serial paedophile priests unable to confirm newly reported cases of abuse they were involved in because they had so many victims.

Dr Diarmuid Martin made the disturbing revelation in an RTE documentary detailing how the Vatican came to exert control over almost every aspect of Irish life.

In the RTE programme, Rome V Republic, Dr Martin spoke frankly about the scale of abuse.

He expressed his deep concern that paedophile priests can often be unsure if they abused a victim when a new case comes to light.

"Any organisation has to ask how is it that at a particular time there was a large number of serial paedophiles," he said.

Hundreds

"I'm talking serious paedophiles; we're talking about hundreds.

"There are cases coming forward.

"My people will ask, for example, a priest, if a new case comes up from one of these historical cases, does this name mean anything to you? Sometimes they say, 'Yes, I abused that person'.

"Sometimes, and this is the more worrying one, they [say], 'The name means nothing, but I can't say, it could have happened'.

"They don't even, they didn't even know how many people they abused."

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