Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Man abused by priest gets payout from church

A victim of a paedophile priest has received a five-figure sum to settle a lawsuit taken over the sexual abuse he suffered, his lawyer has revealed.

The man brought a civil claim against Daniel Curran (below) for assaulting him when he was a child more than 20 years ago.

Curran (62) of Bryansford Road, Newcastle, is known to have abused more than a dozen boys over a period of up to 17 years.

The former priest is currently serving a four-year jail term for attacks carried out at his family holiday home near Tyrella, Co Down between 1989 and 1994.

He had been serving in west Belfast at the time, taking his victims for nights away in what they thought was a chance to escape from violence in the city.

Instead they were sexually abused after they were plied with alcohol which Curran told them was the “blood of Christ”.

He assaulted one of the children at least 10 times, after he came in to say bedtime prayers.

The Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor, has already apologised for the pain and distress caused by Curran.

Proceedings were issued against Curran on behalf of one of those he assaulted in the late eighties.

The victim’s solicitor, Hugh Leslie of John J Rice and Co, confirmed yesterday that an out of court settlement has been reached in the case which was also brought against the Bishop.

Mr Leslie also stressed the need for a full inquiry into clerical abuse.

He said: “My client is pleased that the abuse he suffered at the hands of this priest, now convicted and serving a sentence of imprisonment, has been recognised by the Bishop. Even though no apology was offered, the five-figure sum reflects the psychiatric damage that the assault has had on my client over more than two decades.

“This settlement should give hope to other victims and strengthens the need for a full clerical and historical abuse inquiry to be undertaken.”

In March Curran was convicted for the fourth time of sexually abusing young boys and jailed for four years.

At the time trial Judge David Smyth QC said that Curran's approach to the abuse cases when he was charged on three previous occasions “lacked the kind of penitence that could allow the court ... to accept true remorse”.

Curran was previously attacked by fellow prisoners while serving a seven-year sentence for sex abuse.

Background

Disgraced Catholic priest Daniel Curran abused more than a dozen boys over a period of up to 17 years. In March he was jailed for four years for assaulting a number of children at his family home in Tyrella, Co Down, between 1989 and 1994. This was his fourth conviction for child abuse. One of his victims has since taken a successful civil case against Curran for assaulting him when he was a child more than 20 years ago.

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