Abuser Priest 'Brazenly' Asks to Buy Bright Children's Paper
O'Grady Admits His Notorious Convictions While out Shopping
By Paul Melia
Irish Independent [Ireland]
December 15, 2006
Notorious paedophile ex-priest Oliver O'Grady walked into a Dublin shop to buy coloured paper "like a child would have".
The convicted sex offender, who is believed to have abused 23 young people including a nine-month-old infant, admitted he was the shamed former cleric in a "very open, almost brazen" manner when asked by the Phibsborough shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper, called Aidan, told RTE's 'Liveline' programme yesterday that he refused to serve the 60-year-old Limerick-born paedophile and found him to be a "bit strange".
"I had seen his face a few weeks ago when he was splashed over the papers," Aidan said. "He came in yesterday. He was acting kind of peculiar. He was inquiring about buying a particular type of paper a kid might have, a coloured paper. He used that phrase, which I thought strange because he's an old man.
"He was persistent that he wanted this coloured paper. He was standing beside me at the counter with a folder in his hand, and I could see a certificate with a name on it and it was Oliver O'Grady. I mentioned out of curiousity, 'Are you Oliver O'Grady the former priest, the paedophile from America?' He looked me in the eye and said 'Yea, that's me'.
"Maybe I was being a bit cheeky or forward, but he had an Irish-American accent. I had seen the name and registered there where I had seen the face. He was almost brazen about it, so I asked him again, 'Are you the paedophile priest that was wanted?' and he said 'Yea, that's me'.
"I was taken aback. I said, 'You shouldn't be around here. What are you doing around here?' He said, 'I'm living up the road for a little while until I get myself sorted out'. He just stood there - he wasn't shirking back or rushing to leave.
"I said, 'I'm refusing to serve you. From what I understand you shouldn't be out here walking around in society on main streets with families and children'. I said, 'You're a danger'. He said, 'That's your opinion'.
"I said, 'I'm also going to ring Mountjoy Garda Station and say you're in the area'. He said, 'That's up to yourself.' He was very very casual about it, a bit unnerving. Blase is probably a better word."
Mr O'Grady wore a parka-type anorak jacket. Aidan called Mountjoy Garda station and a detective visited the shop. Aidan said he was told that gardai were aware he was in the area but had not had any sightings of him and were not aware he was out mixing socially.
"The detective in question wasn't treating it lightly. He took a description and asked me about his demeanour. He said he was going to issue a bulletin and went out to see if he could spot this guy," Aidan said.
The Catholic Church in the United States has already paid out more than €17.5m to O'Grady's victims, and a film about him has been shortlisted for an Oscar nomination.
He was ordained at St Patrick's, Thurles, in the Diocese of Cashel and Emly before going to the US, where he began his life of child sex abuse, eventually serving seven years in jail after a 1993 conviction.
The documentary, 'Deliver Us From Evil', was made by CNN reporter Amy Berg and caused controversy after it showed footage of O'Grady ogling young children in Dublin's Merrion Square and at an unnamed school. It later emerged that film-makers had not secured permission from the school to film.
A US court case is aiming to make an Irish archdiocese financially liable for child sex abuse committed in America by an Irish priest. The case, in Orange County in California, is being taken by a victim of O'Grady's and lists the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly as a co-defendant.
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