31/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 14:06

Brendan Boland calls on Cardinal Sean Brady to resign

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 3rd May 2012 06:25:14

A victim of Ireland's most notorious paedophile priest has said the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, should resign.

Brendan Boland was responding to a BBC This World programme which found Cardinal Brady failed to pass details of sex abuse to police or parents.

It found that in 1975, Cardinal Brady had the names and address of children being abused by Fr Brendan Smyth.

Smyth, a paedophile, continued to attack children for a further 13 years.

Cardinal Brady claimed the BBC exaggerated his authority at that time. He said he had "absolutely no authority over Smyth" and had felt betrayed that those in the Church who had the power to stop Smyth did not do so.

Mr Boland told the BBC he thought Cardinal Brady's refusal to resign was wrong.

"I can't understand why he can't see his failings," he said.

"For him to stand without resigning I think that is further abuse of me.

"Resign. Own up to your failings."

In 1975, Cardinal Brady was a priest and teacher in County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland, when he was sent by his bishop to investigate a claim of child sexual abuse by a fellow priest.

That priest was later exposed as Smyth, who died in prison in 1997, one month into a 12-year prison sentence.

The first child to tell his parents about the abuse was the then 14-year-old Brendan Boland.

Speaking on Wednesday, Cardinal Brady said in a statement: "With others, I feel betrayed that those who had the authority in the Church to stop Brendan Smyth failed to act on the evidence I gave them.

"However, I also accept that I was part of an unhelpful culture of deference and silence in society, and the Church, which thankfully is now a thing of the past."

The cardinal said he was "shocked, appalled and outraged" by Smyth and said he had trusted that those with the authority to act in relation to Smyth would treat the evidence seriously and respond appropriately.

"The commentary in the programme and much of the coverage of my role in this inquiry gives the impression that I was the only person who knew of the allegations against Brendan Smyth at that time and that because of the office I hold in the Church today I somehow had the power to stop Brendan Smyth in 1975.

"I had absolutely no authority over Brendan Smyth. Even my Bishop had limited authority over him. The only people who had authority within the Church to stop Brendan Smyth from having contact with children were his Abbot in the Monastery in Kilnacrott and his Religious Superiors in the Norbertine Order."

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BBC News, 2012. Brendan Boland calls on Cardinal Sean Brady to resign [Online] (Updated 3rd May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426183/Brendan-Boland-calls-on-Cardinal-Sean-Brady-to-resign [Accessed 31st Jul 2014]

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