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Altar boy abuse priest jailed

A priest at the centre of an abuse cover-up scandal was yesterday jailed for two years after admitting sexually assaulting a six-year-old altar boy more than 70 times.

The court heard that as a result of the abuse carried out by Thomas Naughton (78), the now 33-year-old victim is a sex addict, has twice attempted suicide, suffers from post-trauma-|tic stress and depression, and believes he will never be able to have a normal, lasting relationship with a woman.

The harrowing details revealed in court will intensify pressure for the resignation of the Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray, who is in Rome and has met Vatican officials about his future. Dr Murray's failure to handle complaints about Naughton while he was auxiliary bishop in Dublin was described as “inexcusable” by the report of the commission which investigated sexual abuse in the Dublin archdiocese.

Naughton was moved to another parish after complaints about his conduct in Wicklow in the early 1980s, and he later abuse many more children in Dublin.

The priest was sentenced yesterday at Wicklow Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to assaulting the victim.

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