Belfast Telegraph

Victim of pervert priest says cardinal Brady took notes as he told of vile assaults

By Greg Harkin

Between 1973 and 1975, altar boy Brendan Boland was among many victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Aged just 14, he plucked up the courage to report his two years of horrific abuse at the hands of the Nobertine Order priest.

It wasn’t an easy thing to do for an adult, never mind a young teenage boy.

He approached a priest he could trust who worked with his local youth club; he in turn told Brendan’s parents and his Bishop.

In March 1975 Brendan was summoned to a meeting. He and his father were to meet three members of the clergy who would hear what he had to say about Father Smyth. To the teenager’s surprise and dismay his father was told to wait outside a room while he was questioned about his allegations.

Brendan Boland thought he was doing the right thing. He told Father John B Brady and two other Church investigators that others were abused too. He gave them names and addresses. Fr Brady took a note of all the questions and answers.

The teenager described just one of the many appalling days out with Smyth.

He said: “We got in the car, we went to Belfast and picked up two children in Belfast and then we drove from Belfast to Cavan and picked a girl up in Cavan.

“We went to pick another boy up in Cavan. And then we went back to the bed and breakfast and there was two bedrooms.

“There was one for the girls and one for Father Smyth and the two boys.

“Me and another boy, the boy from Belfast (were in the room with Smyth). And he called me over first and he abused me the way he did before. And when he was finished with me I went back to the bed and then he called the other boy over and done the same with him and I — this time I was — I was in the bed watching. Well I was listening, I didn’t want to watch.”

The questions upset him, he says now. “(They asked) Did you ever do anything like this before with another boy or man, grown man? And I said no.

“And they kept asking me did my body change, did I get an erection. They asked me then did seed

come from my body. Now, what kind of questions are they to ask a 14-year-old boy?” he said.

At the end of the meeting Brendan was shown a written record of what he had said and was asked to sign it. Father Brady countersigned it.

He and his father were assured the matter would be “dealt with”.

The Catholic Church says a second boy from Cavan was interviewed a few weeks later. He was also abused and also believed.

A report on both testimonies was sent to Father Brady’s superior Bishop Francis McKiernan who sent it to Abbot Kevin Smith.

The Church says they were assured that Brendan Smyth would be removed from public ministry. His abbott, Kevin Smith, however had failed to act.

Abbot Smith would later admit that he even sent the paedophile priest to America, where he preyed on more victims.

Shockingly the abbot said he had failed to warn anyone in the Church about his previous crimes here in Ireland. He later apologised for his “grievous mistakes”.

The BBC producer Alison Millar said the mother of one person named by Brendan was still living at the same address in Belfast that the young boy had given to the Church 37 years ago. That mother said she had never been contacted by the Church.

“I met other victims who were 10-15 years younger than I who would not have been abused if the assurances given to me and my family had been honoured,” said Brendan. Last November he received compensation in an out-of-court settlement after a case against Cardinal Sean Brady was settled.

Source Irish Independent

Irish Independent

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