Brady under pressure to resign
Cardinal Brady knew of Smyth's abuse but helped to conceal it from victims' parents and police
According to the programme ‘The Shame of the Catholic Church’, which was broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland on 1st May, a Catholic Church inquiry team that included the then Fr Brady failed to pass on allegations of abuse to parents of some of the vicims of the paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975.
The BBC’s This World investigation uncovered the notes that Cardinal Brady took while an abused boy was questioned. Brady was not merely a note taker, as he publicly claimed, but an investigator (in his own handwriting, he says that "I was dispatched to investigate the complaint").
The child's father was not allowed in the room, and the child was immediately sworn to secrecy.
The boy, Brendan Boland, had also given him and his colleagues the precise details of a group of children, some of whom were being abused by Smyth.
This World spoke to all of the children whom Brendan Boland had identified; they all told the programme that to the best of their knowledge none of their parents or families were warned in any way about the paedophile Brendan Smyth.
Four of them had been abused by Smyth. Two of them continued to be abused after the 1975 inquiry.
One of them - originally from Belfast - told the programme that Smyth continued to abuse him for another year, his sister for a further 7 years and then, in turn, his four younger cousins, up to 1988.
In other words, as a result of the silence of Brady and others, Brendan Smyth continued to abuse children for 13 years after the Catholic Church was first informed of it.
According to a former RUC officer involved in the case, Smyth abused up to 30 more children after 1975.
Amnesty International has called on the PSNI to investigate whether the Catholic Church was involved in a cover-up, concealing criminal offences from the police. The Criminal Law Act (NI) 1967 clearly states that it is the duty of anyone aware of a criminal offence having been committed to inform the police. This law was in place eight years before Cardinal Brady was told of Smyth’s abuse. Those who do not inform the police, the law says, “shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment according to the gravity of the offence about which he does not give that information”.
Amnesty’s Patrick Corrigan said: “Following the very serious allegations carried in this BBC programme, it now falls to the relevant State authorities to investigate whether any criminal laws have been breached. There can be no hiding place for child abusers, nor for those who have colluded, covered up or facilitated the abuse of children, whether in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. The state authorities in Northern Ireland must now live up to their responsibilities to show that no individual and no institution is above the law.”
Father Brian D'Arcy told Newstalk's Breakfast Show that if he was Cardinal Brady, he would resign.
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