Belfast Telegraph

Report reveals abuse by priest

Convicted paedophile priest Tony Walsh fulfilled his sexual gratification by abusing young boys every fortnight for eight years, a report reveals.

Nicknamed Fr Filth, investigators revealed the defrocked cleric was probably the most notorious child sexual abuser they uncovered in Dublin Archdiocese.

A once-censored chapter in a sickening report showed the first complaint of an attack on an eight-year-old boy was made against him within 48 hours of being assigned to his first parish in the capital in July 1978.

Scores of harrowing allegations were covered up by Catholic Church officials in Dublin, who never reported Walsh to police. For the next 16 years, he continued to destroy young lives. As late as 1994, he attacked a teenager in a pub toilet after the funeral of the boy's grandfather.

The Commission of Inquiry into clerical abuse in the Irish capital said: "His pattern of behaviour is such that it is likely that he has abused hundreds of children."

The commission said action should have been taken by the Archdiocese by 1979 at the latest, when a second victim came forward.

Walsh started grooming youngsters as a trainee priest, abusing altar boys at his seminary. His housekeepers recalled children coming out of his bedroom, with one finding used underwear, condoms and syringes in his room. The singing cleric, an Elvis Presley impersonator, also preyed on victims at shows.

Throughout the early 1980s a stream of young boys and girls made allegations and at least seven priests had concerns about his behaviour.

Walsh finally admitted his involvement with two young boys in 1985 but church leaders, who knew he was a serial abuser, avoided scandal by transferring him from Ballyfermot to Westland Row in Dublin.

It was only the determination of the mother of the boy attacked in the toilets in 1994 who finally made sure the cleric was put behind bars.

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