Timeline: Key Events

The Irish Times
March 16, 2010

1945 : Brendan Smyth joined the Norbertine order.

1968 : Smyth is referred for the first of a number of treatments for child abuse.

1975 : Complaints made to bishop of Kilmore Francis McKiernan about Smyth’s abuse. Complainants were sworn to secrecy at meetings attended by Cardinal Sean Brady, then a priest.

1980s : Smyth is sent to North Dakota, United States, where six boys are reported to have been abused.

1990 : First complaint about Smyth’s abuse is made to the RUC, by a Belfast family.

1991 : Smyth charged with multiple offences, received bail and failed to turn up for trial.

1993 (May): British attorney general writes to Irish attorney general requesting Smyth’s extradition.

1993 (December): Smyth returns voluntarily to Northern Ireland and hands himself up to the RUC.

1994 (January): Smyth pleads guilty and is sentenced to four years.

1994 (October): Minister for justice Maire Geoghegan Quinn tells the Dail that attorney general Harry Whelehan (left) has not seen the extradition warrants, leading to an inquiry and eventually the collapse of the government.

1997 (July): Smyth is convicted of 74 offences in the Republic and sentenced to 12 years.

1997 (August 22nd): Smyth dies suddenly in prison.

2009 : On December 21st a civil case for damages against Cardinal Brady, the Bishop of Kilmore and the Abbot of the Norbertines, which began in 1997, is mentioned in the High Court, where the statement of claim is amended.

2010 (March): Cardinal Brady admits he was told of complaints in 1975, where the complainants took an oath of secrecy.


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