Payne got £30,000 church loan

By Patsy McGarry
Irish Times
June 24, 1998

As judge Cyril Kelly put it yesterday, Ivan Payne had been a paragon at the pinnacle of propriety cloaked in a veneer of theology. But, commenting later in his remarks on the priest's current status, Judge Kelly felt "one thing is for certain - he will be forever a pariah within the community".

Ivan Payne was born in August 1943. He was ordained in 1967 and served as chaplain at a convent in Killiney, Co Dublin, from September 1967 to February 1968, when he became chaplain at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, Dublin.

It was there in 1968 the first of the 13 sample sexual assaults, on teenage boys, which he pleaded guilty to, occurred. The charges, involving nine boys, related to sexual assaults which continued until 1987. Payne had his post at the Crumlin hospital from February 1968 to October 1970, after which he studied full-time at UCD until August 1972.

While at university he was a curate at Mourne Road, Drimnagh, until 1974. He spent from 1974 to 1976 studying canon law at Ottawa, in Canada. In 1976 he returned to Ireland and was appointed to the Dublin Archdiocese's Regional Catholic Marriage Tribunal, which dealt with marriage annulments. He also became chaplain at Cabra where he was until 1981. From 1982 until 1995 he served as a chaplain in Sutton. In 1995 he was removed from the ministry.

At the hearing on April 27th last, Det Sgt Bernard Sherry told Mr Tom O'Connell, prosecuting, that as well as offences committed by Payne against children at Our Lady's Hospital he also faced charges of sexual abuse against boys in Cabra and Sutton.

Payne was a parish chaplain in Cabra from 1976 to 1981, when he was removed following a complaint made there by Mr Andrew Madden, then an altar boy. Following treatment by a psychiatrist, the priest was appointed parish chaplain in Sutton in early 1982. The psychiatrist again saw Payne in 1991 and 1994 to review the situation. In November 1994 the story emerged in the Irish Press and in March 1995 Mr Andrew Madden went public on the matter in a Sunday World interview. It was disclosed on an RTE Prime Time programme in September 1995 that in 1993 Payne secured a loan of £30,000 from the Dublin Archdiocese to pay an out-of-court settlement to Mr Madden.

In May of 1995, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Connell, had told RTE he had paid out no compensation to any victim of clerical child sex abuse and claimed he had been libelled by Prime Time. "To say that we paid compensation is completely untrue," he said afterwards.

In a statement following last April's hearing, Dr Connell said Payne was referred to a specialist institute for residential assessment in 1995 "as a further precaution". This followed revelations about the late Brendan Smyth. Dr Connell continued: "It was decided that Father Payne should withdraw from ministry. Thereafter, as is now well known, additional complaints came to light and the Garda investigation commenced."

On April 28th last, the second day of the hearing, Ms Marie Keenan, a consultant psychotherapist from the Granada Institute, which treats victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse, and which Payne has attended since 1995, described the three consultations Payne had had with the psychiatrist prior to that as totally inadequate as treatment.

Det Sgt Sherry told the hearing Payne was regarded as a charismatic person and was highly thought of in the communities in which he worked. The victims were generally shy and vulnerable, he said, and many of them came from very religious homes. This inhibited them from complaining.

Judge Kelly remarked yesterday Payne's standing in the communities in which he served was "exactly the crux of the issue for the children. They were convinced they would not be believed".

Payne publicly apologised to all his victims under oath in an address from the witness box on April 28th. He said he wanted to acknowledge he had hurt many people by his behaviour, including his victims, their family and friends, as well as his own family and friends.






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