Asks Court to Stop Damages over Sex Abuse by Paedophile Priest
January 29, 2014
|Cardinal Sean Brady
A Stg £25,000 payment made to a man who sued in the Northern
Ireland courts over being sexually abused as a child over years
by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth was a "full and final
settlement" and he cannot bring a fresh case here against a
Catholic Bishop, the High Court has been told.
The Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O'Reilly, has asked the
court to stop Mario Cafolla suing him, in his representative
capacity as Bishop of Kilmore, over alleged failures by the
diocese and Catholic Church to stop Smyth's abusive behaviour.
Mr Cafolla insists he is entitled to sue on grounds
including that a previous Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Francis
McKiernan, was allegedly made aware in 1975 that Brendan Smyth
was abusing children, including Mr Cafolla, but failed to report
that to the Gardai
or Mr Cafolla's parents.
It is alleged that a young boy had, at meetings in
1975 with priests of the Catholic Church, told the then Fr Sean
Brady - now Cardinal Sean Brady - that Smyth was abusing
That boy was asked to sign a document stating he would
not tell anyone else about the abuse except authorised priests,
Liam Reidy SC, for Mr Cafolla, said. While that boy had reported
that Mario Cafolla was among the children being abused by Smyth,
and had provided Mr Cafolla's name and address, no steps were
taken to either inform the Garda or his parents, counsel added.
Bishop McKiernan had directed the Norbertine Order to
ensure Smyth remained in their abbey but that directive was not
obeyed and Smyth continued to abuse children, counsel said.
Mr Cafolla's case here involves a different set of
facts, including the failure "to have the ordinary decency" to
report Smyth's abusive behaviour to the gardai and Mr Cafolla'a
parents and thus avoid the continuing suffering or Mr Cafolla
and his sister, who was also abused by Smyth, counsel said.
The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas
Kearns, today began earing an application on behalf of Bishop
O'Reilly to halt the action being taken against him by Mario
Cafolla. The judge will later deal with similar applications by
the Bishop in proceedings brought by Marie Cafolla, sister of
Mario, and by Ciara Fusco, arising from the abuse by the late Fr
Mr Cafolla, with an address in Donegal, has sued Dr
O'Reilly, in his representative capacity, and Cardinal Sean
Brady, in his personal capacity over his role as part-time
secretary to Bishop McKiernan in 1975 during the investigation
of complaints about Smyth.