The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland last night said he wanted to work towards a just resolution in a court case being taken against him by an alleged victim of clerical abuse.
Cardinal Sean Brady has been called to withdraw his defence in a legal battle with a man who claims he was abused by notorious paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.
It is understood the man is suing Dr Brady at the High Court in his capacity as Archbishop of Armagh. In a statement the Cardinal said he wanted to “work towards a just resolution of the case ... conscious of the rights of all concerned.”
He said he had asked his legal representatives to engage the legal representatives of the complainant with a view to progressing the case.
A solicitor for the man — who was a young altar boy he said, when he was abused by Smyth in the early 1970s — is reported to have written to the Cardinal's solicitor stating his defence was compounding the grievous wrongs perpetrated on his client.
The man's legal team also asked the Cardinal to withdrawn his defence to give practical expression to the Cardinal's recent statements of remorse about clerical sexual abuse.
The churchman recently apologised to anyone who had been hurt by any failure on his part.
“Looking back, I am ashamed that I have not always upheld the values that I profess and believe in,” he told Massgoers. However he refused to resign over recent disclosures that he failed to report complaints of abuse made against Smyth to gardai in 1975.
He confirmed he met two alleged victims at the time and passed the information on to superiors, who removed Smyth's licence to act as a priest.
But he continued to rape and molest young boys and girls until he was brought to justice in the mid-1990s.