Clerical abuse survivor glad of inquiry into garda inaction

Irish Examiner

Saturday, June 27, 2015

By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

Clerical sex abuse survivor and papal representative Marie Collins said she was glad there would be an inquiry over the failure by the gardaí to act on information it had in 1973, about paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

“There can be no excuse for the gardaí not acting on the information they had then. There can be no justification for doing nothing,” Ms Collins said yesterday.

Evidence was provided to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland this week that gardaí in Finglas, Dublin, had been alerted in 1973 about a very real risk of future abuse by Smyth.

Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters said he would be writing to the Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan to find out why the letter informing gardaí that Smyth was “suffering from paedophilia” was not acted on.

Mr Winters’ firm represents a number of Smyth’s victims, who are seeking damages against the gardaí for failing to prevent crimes against the innocent and vulnerable.

Confidential documents from St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin disclosed during the inquiry showed that Smyth was receiving psychiatric treatment in 1973 for his sexual propensities.

The Department of Justice and Equality said it would examine any conclusions or findings made by the historical abuse inquiry that were relevant to this jurisdiction.

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