Historical Abuse Inquiry: Cardinal Brady Admits "Shroud of Secrecy" over Sex Abuse Investigations

Belfast Telegraph
June 24, 2015

25th June 2015 Cardinal Sean Brady arrives at Banbridge Court House to take part in the Historical Abuse Inquiry. The former leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland is attending the as this week focus on Fr Brendan Smyth who was jailed in 1994 for child abuse offences reaching back to the 1940's. Brendan Smyth died in 1994 one month into a 12 year prison sentence in the Republic of Ireland. The inquiry, which is one of the largest in the UK, was set up by the Assembly to look into child abuse across Northern Ireland. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Clerics involved in investigating child sex abuse were bound to secrecy so the Catholic church's "good name" could be protected, a former primate of Ireland has claimed.

Cardinal Sean Brady, who resigned on age grounds last year, was giving evidence to the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) in Banbridge, Co Down.

He said: "These were unspeakable crimes.

"There was a confidentiality resting upon us too."

Live updates from Belfast Telegraph reporter Rebecca Black @RBlackBT

The Cardinal faced fierce criticism after it emerged he had attended meetings where two teenage victims of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth were sworn to secrecy in 1975.

He added: "There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view not to destroying the good name of the church.

"The scandal that somebody who was ordained to serve people should so abuse the trust for their own pleasure was appalling and it was.

"To offset that, the scandal was kept a secret - very, very secret.

"Everybody involved would be bound to secrecy too."

The evidence from Smyth's victims was never handed over to police, allowing the west Belfast churchman to continue abusing children before he was finally jailed in 1994.








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