In a chilling letter in the Sunday Independent a man has thanked his mother for not allowing a priest, who was later found to be a serial child abuser, to bring him and his brother for a drive.
The letter is part of the Letter I wish I'd Sent series running in the Sunday Independent.
The man, who has chosen to remain anonymous, penned a letter to his mother and thanked her for the loving environment he and his siblings were raised in.
He went on to say that his mother declined the offer from Fr Brendan Smyth to take he and his brother for a drive.
"I feel that your refusal saved both your sons a lot of grief and abuse and allowed us to continue growing up having a great childhood in a great family in a great little town," he said.
The letter in full reads:
After reading the 'Letter I Wished I'd Sent' on page 10 of the Sunday Independent of July 23, I turned to page 14 and there staring at me was a picture of Brendan Smyth, the serial child sex abuser, below. You and Dad created a loving environment for our large family, in our small West of Ireland town.
How fortunate my younger brother and myself were, when aged 10 and 12 as Mass servers during a week's Retreat by the said Brendan Smyth, you were strong enough as a very religious woman to decline Smyth's offer on two different evenings when he called to our house to take my brother and myself out for "a drive to the neighbouring town".
We can only speculate on what that intuition or whatever it was about Smyth that you didn't like, that prompted your refusal on both evenings. I feel that your refusal saved both your sons a lot of grief and abuse and allowed us to continue growing up having a great childhood in a great family in a great little town.
Your Loving Son.