Sunday World [Dublin, Ireland]
March 5, 2021
By Eamon Dillon
Oliver O’Grady had been jailed for 22 months last October for possessing ‘child pornography’ – his ninth conviction.
FORMER priest and infamous paedophile Oliver O’Grady has been released from prison this week after serving his latest sentence for a sex-offence.
Now 75-years-old, O’Grady had been jailed for 22 months last October for possessing ‘child pornography’, his ninth conviction.
He had served time in California for the abuse of two boys where he served as a Catholic priest before being deported back to Ireland in the 1990s.
His sexual crimes were the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary in 2006 called ‘Deliver Us From Evil.’
O’Grady had been extradited from Portugal in 2019 to face the charge of possessing a video of an underage girl being sexually abused.
He left the Midlands Prison this week in Portlaoise where he had served his time.
His recent conviction came as a result of a video found on his laptop by gardaí in Waterford acting on a tip-off from a house mate.
The ex-priest was charged with possessing the video between December 14, 2015 and March 2016, at his home in the city.
Just the year before in November 2014 O’Grady told the Sunday World that he was no longer a danger to children.
In a door-step interview he tried to play down his past crimes when approached.
“Why would you want to talk to me?” he asked.
When told that it was because of his history of child abuse, he replied: “That’s a long time ago now.”
He denied that he is still a danger to children, saying: “No, not at all.”
His answer to whether he is in contact with the probation services was: “That would be the normal procedure, yes.”
And asked if people had anything to fear from him he replied, “No, they haven’t. Okay?” and disappeared back into the Post Office on the city quays.
During his last court hearing in October 2020 his eight previous convictions were outlined to the judge.
It included the repeated molestation of two brothers in California over a 10-year period, for which he served seven years in the 1990s.
O’Grady denied the most recent charge of possessing a video depicting child-sexual abuse when he appeared at Waterford Circuit Court.
Speaking to the court, in what the judge would later described as “bizarre” O’Grady said he didn’t know of the video’s existence until investigating gardaí brought it to his attention.
The ex-cleric went on to say he accepted the jury’s guilty verdict, thanked the prosecution and the gardaí for their work, his lawyers, the court staff and his prison escort.
Previously O’Grady was convicted of ‘child pornography’ when in January 2012, a laptop he’d left on an Aer Lingus flight was found to have 280,000 sexual images of children and 1,000 videos.
He also got nine months’ earlier in 2020 for failure to keep the rules of the sex offenders register by not notifying a change in details.
His defence lawyer last year said the former priest was himself a victim of abuse between the ages of 12 and 14 when he served at his local church.
A State lawyer said the video was at the higher level of child pornography, which the judge said amounted to the “exploitation and abuse of a child for the sexual gratification of others”.
There was “no willingness” from O’Grady to deal with his problems despite already serving two prison terms, according to the judge.
He handed down a 22-month sentence, backdated to when O’Grady was arrested in October 2019.