Priest gets suspended term for molesting boys

Irish Times
February 3, 2007

A missionary priest with previous convictions for sex assault has been given a three-year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for molesting two boys.

Patrick Maguire (60), of St Columban's, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to indecent assault of the boys on a date between January 1st, 1976, and December 31st, 1979.

Maguire was sentenced to six years in prison at Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court in 2000 on eight charges of sexual assault, and was given an 18-month sentence in England in 1988 on four charges of sexual assault.

Judge Katherine Delahunt said Maguire carried out the 1979 abuse in a "calculated and manipulative fashion", and that it was a "breach of trust of his position in the community".

She said although he co-operated fully with gardaí and was remorseful, his actions had resulted in his victims having ongoing psychological issues.

Judge Delahunt noted that Maguire had gained insight into the effects of his behaviour on his victims through treatment at the Granada Institute.

She said although it was "a heinous crime" she had to balance this with the fact that he had already served time in prison for other offences, and that he was currently still on probation.

Judge Delahunt imposed a three-year prison sentence on Maguire, which she suspended for six years on condition that he not be allowed unsupervised access to children and that he liaise with the Probation and Welfare Services.

The investigating garda in the case told Michael Bowman, prosecuting, that Maguire was allowed share a bed with the victims after it was agreed he could stay overnight in a crowded house.

Maguire made full admissions when later questioned, and said he was sorry and he understood the effects it would have had on the victims.

Patrick Gageby SC (with Orla Crowe ), defending, told Judge Delahunt that Maguire was released on conditions in 2003 following a sentence review of the jail term imposed in Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court.

Counsel said that for the last three and half years Maguire had abided by the strict terms imposed on him.

He said that a report from the Granada Institute indicated that Maguire had worked extremely hard towards his rehabilitation.

Mr Gageby said his client acknowledged that it was a "very grievous offence".

However he added that since then Maguire had tried personally to reorder his life, and the danger of him reoffending now had been "substantially diminished".





Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.