Sinn Fein denies Martin McGuinness wants Cardinal Sean Brady to face court
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has denied that he asked Justice Minister David Ford to consult police about the possibility of prosecuting Cardinal Sean Brady.
Sinn Fein has said the MLA and MP instead called on Mr Ford to ensure police co-operated with a cross-border probe into paedophile priest Brendan Smyth’s reign of abuse on children.
Cardinal Brady’s position at the helm of the Catholic Church in Ireland has been in question in recent weeks over his handling of allegations against Smyth in 1975.
Cardinal Brady is accused of failing to act when alerted to abuse allegations when he was a young priest.
A BBC documentary revealed that in 1975 a 14-year-old boy who had been sexually abused by the paedophile priest gave the then Fr Brady the names and addresses of other children who had been abused.
It said Fr Brady did not pass on the details to the police or parents.
The BBC yesterday reported that Mr McGuinness raised the issue of Cardinal Brady’s role during a meeting of the Executive, reportedly asking the Justice Minister to formally approach the PSNI about the possibility of a prosecution, given the 1967 Act which makes it an offence not to report a crime.
But Sinn Fein insisted Mr McGuinness did not mention the cardinal.
Instead he asked Mr Ford to ensure the PSNI co-operated if there was to be a cross-border inquiry, as called for by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.
The embattled Catholic Primate has vowed to remain in his post.