Priest Jailed for 5 Years for Abuse

By Elaine Keogh
Irish Times
November 23, 2009

A priest and former hospital chaplain who sexually abused a schoolboy has been jailed for five years.

Michael Molloy (44), who had been a chaplain at Cavan General Hospital, pleaded guilty to two counts of defilement of the boy and one of possession of child pornography.

The offences took place at a number of locations including at a parochial house in 2006 and 2007. The boy was in his early teens at the time.

The court heard the offences took place before Molloy became full-time chaplain at the hospital. He was removed from active ministry in September 2007 when he was arrested.

Initially he told gardaí the boy was "a liar" and "a fantasist"; the Garda sergeant leading the investigation said that it was only when "he was put to the pin of his collar" that he admitted his actions.

The court heard the boy was unaware he had been recorded performing oral sex until the footage, which was on the priest's mobile phone, was shown to him as part of the Garda investigation.

The abuse came to light when the boy's mother found sexually explicit text messages on his mobile phone from Molloy. The boy then told her and his father what had been happening and they went to gardaí.

The boy told the court that the abuse had "taken away my childhood, the beginning of my teenage years and affected my relationship with people around me".

Luan Ó Braonáin SC, defending, said Molloy had done more than 200 hours of therapy with the Granada Institute and was remorseful.

Molloy apologised to the boy and his family from the witness box today.

Judge John O'Hagan said there had been a "huge breach of trust" by Molloy.


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