Fr Brendan Smyth case: Calls for Irish government action over police failings

BBC News

By Kevin Sharkey

The Irish government is facing calls to respond to revelations that police failed to prosecute the paedophile priest, Brendan Smyth, in the 1970s.

It emerged this week at the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry that Gardaí (Irish police) knew Smyth was a paedophile as far back as 1973.

Smyth continued to abuse for more than 20 years, until he was jailed in 1994.

Both the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin have called on the government to take action on the case.

‘Dismay and disgust’

Sinn Fein has urged Dublin ministers to set-up an independent judicial review into the HIA revelations.
Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson, Niall Collins, urged the Irish minister for justice and the head of the police to set up a “mechanism” to address concerns that state agencies failed to act to protect Smyth’s victims.

Mr Collins said: “Along with the rest of the country, I have watched with growing dismay and disgust as further details of Brendan Smyth’s abuse has been laid bare in the hearings in Banbridge.

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