Victims of a notorious clerical sex abuser are suing Cardinal Sean Brady in a personal capacity even though they have already settled claims for damages against the Catholic Church, it has been reported.
A woman who sued the Norbertine Order of monks, to which paedophile Brendan Smyth belonged, told the Sunday Times her solicitor had also written to Cardinal Brady, notifying him she has reserved the right to pursue a legal case against him personally.
A spokesman for the Cardinal said he was not able to confirm whether the All Ireland Primate had been informed of the potential court action.
Another woman is suing the primate for failing to alert the authorities in 1975 to Smyth’s abuse of children. Her case is to be heard by the High Court in Dublin in July.
As a canon lawyer and teacher in Co Cavan in 1975, the then Fr Brady held meetings with two of Smyth’s victims, aged 10 and 14, in which they told him they had been abused but signed oaths of secrecy promising not to reveal their abuse to anyone else.
Smyth was then stripped of the ability to say Mass and hear confession — but the Norbertine Order did not expel him. He went to America and is thought to have abused around 100 children before his arrest in 1994. However, the then Fr Brady did not alert gardai to Smyth’s abuse.