Cork Priest Admits Gross Indecency

RTE News
November 12, 2010

A 74-year-old priest has been given a suspended sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court after he pleaded guilty to gross indecency with a teenage boy.

Fr Brendan Wrixon - Given 18-month suspended sentence

A 74-year-old has been given an 18-month suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a charge of gross indecency with a teenage boy.

Brendan Wrixon, from Newmarket, Co Cork, also admitted undressing the boy in the sacristy of a church.

The victim said he had to fight for the truth to be heard.

Wrixon is attached to the Diocese of Cloyne, although he has not ministered since a complaint was made against him five years ago.

The victim was a teenage boy when Wrixon committed an indecent act while hearing his confession at the Convent of Mercy in Mallow in the early 1980s.

On another occasion, Wrixon undressed the boy in the sacristy of the church at Shanballymore in North Cork.

The victim alleged there were around 20 incidents of a sexual nature involving Wrixon.

At the Circuit Criminal Court in Cork today, Wrixon pleaded guilty to a single count of gross indecency. He apologised through his counsel.

The victim said it had taken him 20 years to break his silence because of the deep sense of shame he felt about the abuse.

He said he felt hurt by the abuse and let down by the clergy, especially those in positions of responsibility.

He said that while he fought for the truth to be heard, their response was to protect the church rather than the individual.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain said Wrixon's behaviour was continuous and gross and there was a substantial breach of trust.

He said he had violated not only the law of the country but also his own religious beliefs.

He told Wrixon he did not deserve to be a priest and he imposed an 18-month suspended jail sentence.

Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cloyne, tonight offered an apology on behalf of the church.

He said 'I am deeply sorry that the trust of a young person was betrayed by one of our priests and I wish to apologise and express to him and his family my sincere regret.'

He added that Wrixon has not held a diocesan appointment since 2005 and may not engage in priestly ministry in public.

He is also not allowed to wear clerical dress or present himself as a priest.


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