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Judges halt priest damages actions

By Tim Healy

Published 13/11/2015

The Republic's Court of Appeal has halted three actions for damages brought over an alleged failure to act to prevent paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth sexually abusing children
The Republic's Court of Appeal has halted three actions for damages brought over an alleged failure to act to prevent paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth sexually abusing children

The Republic's Court of Appeal has halted three actions for damages brought over an alleged failure to act to prevent paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth sexually abusing children.

The case was brought by a Northern Irish man, his sister and a female cousin. The three-judge court upheld a High Court decision stopping their actions against the Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O'Reilly, as representative of the diocese.

They had also sued Cardinal Sean Brady arising from his role as secretary to former Bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan, during a church investigation in 1975.

While Cardinal Brady had not made a similar application to Bishop O'Reilly, legal sources suggest the judgment means he too cannot be pursued by the plaintiffs. The three previously settled Northern Ireland court actions for £25,000 damages each after being sexually abused by Smyth.

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