Probe Reveals Sins of the Fathers

By Shane Phelan, Dearbhail Mcdonald and Fiach Kelly
Irish Independent
November 27, 2009

SOME 46 priests were dealt with in the Commission of Investigation report.

In total, the commission received information about complaints, suspicions or knowledge of child sex abuse in respect of 172 named priests and 11 unnamed priests.

Of the 46, just 11 have been named. The others have been given pseudonyms to protect their anonymity.

The following are examples of the cases investigated:

* Fr James McNamee

McNamee built a swimming pool in his back yard while he was parish priest in Crumlin in the 1970s so he could fondle young boys.

McNamee also picked up boys regularly in his car.

He was transferred to the Carmelite Monastery in Delgany, Co Wicklow, in 1979 after he resigned from his duties in Crumlin. The monastery was never informed of his history.

At least 21 people made complaints about McNamee, who died in 2002, at the age of 85.

A garda investigation was hampered by the temporary loss of a file. The DPP later ruled that too much time had elapsed for a successful prosecution to be taken. McNamee settled out of court with one victim for ?100,000 in the mid-1990s.

* Fr Edmondus*

Edmondus abused young children between the ages of eight and 11 at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

He was convicted of indecent assault against two girls and served nine months in jail in the mid-1990s. He remains a priest but is prohibited from exercising his ministry.

In 1960, Garda Commissioner Daniel Costigan failed to act after indecent photographs were intercepted at a UK photo lab. The matter was turned over to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. Edmondus was referred to a doctor, but hospital authorities were not informed.

* Fr Patrick Maguire

The 82-year-old Columban Father is a convicted child sex abuser, and has served prison terms in Ireland and the UK.

He worked as an assistant priest in Dublin in 1983 and 1984. In 1997, he admitted abusing 70 boys in a number of countries. The Columbans were aware of complaints about his behaviour but allowed him to go on parish promotion work.

The commission found many complaints were largely ignored over 20 years.

* Fr Donal Gallagher

Alcoholic Gallagher was 58 when he died in 1994. The Vincentian priest served in a Dublin parish between 1975 and 1979 and was a teacher and chaplain to a secondary school.

The commission said it was aware of 14 complaints against Gallagher, but that it was likely he had abused many more.

A letter from the provincial of his order referred to inappropriate behaviour with seminarians and altar boys.

There was no evidence that any action was taken by the order.

The commission was critical of a 1993 garda inquiry into complaints of abuse.

* Fr Noel Reynolds

Reynolds, who died in 2002 aged almost 70, told a diocesan official about his paedophilia in 1996 -- after abusing over 20 children, beginning in the 1970s -- but even the shocking admission did not lead to a thorough Church investigation.

He raped two sisters and sexually abused them while in the Kilmore parish and when gardai began investigating the claims in 1999, Reynolds admitted to abusing around 20 other girls in the parish along with others in East Wall and Tuam.

The commission found that but for the complaints to gardai, the "archdiocese would have been happy to ignore the fact that any abuse had taken place".

During garda interviews, Reynolds admitted inserting a crucifix into a girl's back passage and vagina and offered the crucifix as evidence.

The DPP was prepared to prosecute until the priest's solicitor made representations about his deteriorating health.

* Fr Ivan Payne

Ivan Payne is a convicted serial child sex abuser who worked as chaplain to Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

The commission said it was aware of 31 people who had made allegations against him.

He was convicted of indecent assault in respect of 10 victims and has served a jail sentence.

The archdiocese paid compensation to nine of his victims. It first received a complaint about his behaviour in 1981. Payne also carried out abuse while at Cabra parish.

* Fr Horatio*

Now retired from ministry, Horatio faced complaints of abusing a 15-year-old boy he met in a gay club in 1980. He admitted the incident to Monsignor Richard Glennon and Bishop Laurence Forristal, but insisted he thought the young boy was 18.

Horatio was subsequently moved to another parish.

The complaint was finally reported to gardai by the diocese 15 years later.

A file was sent to the DPP but no prosecution was brought.

Further complaints were received in 1996 and 2005.

It was claimed Fr Sean Fortune, a notorious child sex abuser, gave Horatio a key to a holiday home, which was used to perpetrate the alleged abuse.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin asked Horatio to step down and passed over all information held by the archdiocese to the gardai.

* Fr Cicero*

Cicero, who was 63 when he died in 2002, was the chaplain of an inner city parish.

In the mid-1980s he would invite young girls back to his house. He developed a computer programme that commanded the girls to remove their socks and tops, to kiss each other and to kiss him.

In 1987, two women reported their concerns to a local curate, who later went to Bishop Desmond Williams. However, the complaints were not referred to gardai at the time.

Complaints were finally referred to gardai in April 2002, but the priest died before an investigation could take place.

* Fr Harry Moore

In February 1999 a man complained to gardai that Moore had sexually abused him while he was a priest at Bayside parish between 1983 and 1985.

Moore, now aged 73, was charged with 18 counts of sexual assault in 2000. The charges were later reduced to four and in July 2004, he pleaded guilty to two charges of buggery and got a seven-year jail sentence.

He had a history of alcoholism and received adverse psychiatric assessments in the late 1970s. Despite this, the archdiocese thought he was fit to return to active ministry.

* Fr Septimus*

Septimus has had restrictions placed on him by the archdiocese since 1997.

The commission said it was aware of 17 complaints, mainly related to the beating of boys across their bare buttocks.

A complaint was made to Bishop Dermot O'Mahony as far back as 1983, but it does not appear he made any inquiries.

A further complaint of a similar nature was received in 1995 and gardai began an investigation. However, the DPP recommended no prosecution.

* Fr William carney

Carney, a serial sexual abuser of children, was dismissed from the clerical state in 1992.

The commission said it was aware of complaints or suspicions of child sexual abuse against him in respect of 32 named individuals.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault in 1983. The archdiocese has paid compensation to six of his victims. There was evidence to suggest that on separate occasions he acted with convicted abusers, Fr Francis McCarthy and Fr Patrick Maguire.

The commission highlighted the archdiocese's lack of competence in dealing with the issue.

* Fr Tom Naughton

More than 20 complaints of child sexual abuse have been made against Naughton and he has twice been convicted of child sexual abuse.

In 1983 two parishioners from Valleymount expressed concerns to Bishop Donal Murray. A parish priest investigated the complaints, but concluded they were unfounded.

Within weeks, Naughton was moved to Donnycarney parish where he carried out serious sexual assaults on an 11-year-old altar boy. Naughton was sent for counselling. A short time later he was moved to Ringsend.

Further complaints were made.

In early 1988, Naughton was relieved of his duties.

A number of complainants came forward to gardai in 1995 and 1996 and Naughton was subsequently convicted of sexual assaults on three boys.

* Fr Dominic Savio Boland

The Capuchin priest, whose real name is John Boland, is a convicted child sex abuser.

He is now living in one of the order's houses in Ireland with restrictions on his activities and ministry. The first allegation against him was made in 1989. The head of the order got counselling for the boy and a psychiatrist for Boland.

In 1994, a complaint was made to gardai by a man who said he was abused by the priest at the age of 11 in 1973. The matter was investigated but the DPP opted not to prosecute.

Further allegations later emerged. Boland was eventually charged and convicted of nine counts of indecent assault.

* Fr Benito*

Fr Benito, a former teacher, is still in ministry in the archdiocese.

A brother and sister complained to gardai in 2001 that they were sexually abused by Benito.

He described how one night in 1988 he frightened the brother, then aged 15. Benito calmed him down by hugging him. According to Benito, the teenager suddenly kissed him and became aroused: to defuse the situation he "flicked at his erection in a mocking fashion".

* Fr Frank McCarthy

McCarthy used his position as a seminarian to target children's homes. Children were allowed to visit his home and go on holiday with him.

McCarthy was convicted in 1997 after he pleaded guilty to abusing an orphan and a young victim from Dunlavin.

He was given a suspended sentence and was later allowed to say Mass at a Dublin convent.

* denotes pseudonym


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