Priest guilty of sex abuse jailed

Irish Times
February 24, 1999

A 50-year-old paedophile priest was yesterday sentenced to eight years' imprisonment when he pleaded guilty at Wicklow Circuit Court to four counts of indecent assault 25 years ago on two brothers, aged 12 and 13.

Father John Kinsella, from Arklow, has been working in the UK since 1973, just after the offences occurred.

He admitted bringing the boys on different occasions to his hotel room in Lourdes and to his presbytery in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, where he gave them alcohol, assaulted them and forced them to engage in oral sex.

The court heard that on his return from Lourdes, he had developed a friendship with the family and regularly called to their home with sweets and lemonade for the boys.

Details were given of one incident in which he slept with the younger child in a double bed, did horrific things to the child and forced him to reciprocate.

The child became very upset and asked the priest the next morning if what they were doing was wrong and if he should go to Confession. Father Kinsella advised him to confess.

Since the case was uncovered four years ago, Father Kinsella, who is still a priest, has not practised as one. Instead he studied for a Master's degree and lectures at a third-level college, signing on the dole when he is not working.

Under cross-examination by State Counsel Mr Barry Hickson, Father Kinsella said he was abused himself as a child. He said he wanted to express his very deep remorse to the victims.


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