Family had to move to get away from priest

By Mary Minihan
Irish Times
November 27, 2009

Parishes: The father of one of William Carney’s victims said he had to move his family out of Ayrfield to get away from the then priest, the report records.

Appointed curate in the parish in 1977 and dismissed from the clerical state in 1992, Carney is described in the report as “one of the most serious serial abusers investigated by the commission”.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault in 1983 and the archdiocese has paid compensation to six of his victims.

Parents from Ayrfield contacted senior church figures on a number of occasions to say they were concerned about Fr William Carney’s access to their children.

There was evidence suggesting Carney might have acted in concert with other convicted clerical child sexual abusers, Fr Francis McCarthy and Fr Patrick Maguire.

In Ayrfield, the commission was impressed by the efficiency and speed with which Garda Finbarr Garland investigated the complaints from young boys in 1983, and the manner in which he and his superior officers pursued the prosecution of Carney.

However, neither the church nor the Garda authorities made any effort to ensure that relevant people were made aware of the danger which Carney posed to children, the report concludes.

In Ringsend, “the situation regarding Fr [Tom] Naughton was quite well known”. Twice convicted of child sexual abuse, the commission is aware of complaints of child sexual abuse against Naughton by more than 20 named people. In the mid to late 1990s, a number of complaints of sexual assault were made to gardaí by men who claimed they were abused by Naughton while he was a curate in Aughrim Street between 1976 and 1980.

The gardaí followed up these complaints but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed no prosecution should take place due to the lapse of time.

A young man told the commission that Fr James McNamee, who died in 2002, was “like St Francis of Assisi” because children would flock around him. At least 21 people have made complaints of sexual abuse against Fr McNamee.

These complaints date back to his period as a curate in Rolestown between 1950 and 1952; as a curate in Halston Street and Arran Quay between 1952 and 1960; as a curate in Harrington Street from 1960 to 1968; and in Crumlin, as curate between 1968 and 1973, and parish priest from 1973 and 1979.

Cabra parish was the scene of the first complaint, in 1981, about abuse by Fr Ivan Payne. The abuse of Andrew Madden, which began around 1976, took place in the house in which Fr Payne lived while attached to the parish.



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