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Cardinal Sean Brady Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Clerical Abuse

Abuse victim calls for Brady apology as lawsuits against Cardinal emerge

Brendan Boland has called for an apology from Cardinal Sean Brady in the wake of settlement reached this week over the Bishop of Armagh’s handling of allegations of abuse by Fr Brendan Smyth.

ONE OF THE victims of the paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth has called on Cardinal Sean Brady to issue a public apology for his role in dealing with abuse allegations.

It comes as the Sunday Times reports that Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland, is being sued separately by three victims of Fr Smyth, who claim the primate’s role in a secret church hearing regarding allegations of sex abuse exposed them to harm.

The Sunday Times reports that the lawsuits have been brought after the plaintiffs learned of Brady’s role in a canonical inquiry 36-years-ago where two of Smyth’s teenage victims were sworn to secrecy.

One of those victims, Brendan Boland, who reached a confidential settlement with Brady this week, today spoke RTÉ Radio One’s This Week programme and called on Brady to issue a public apology.

Brady has offered to meet Boland in person and offer an apology face-to-face but so far that offer has not been taken up. The Catholic Communications Office has said that Brady made an apology publicly at a mass in March 2010 and also told the Sunday Times it would not be commenting on legal cases that are ongoing.

‘Big impact on my life’

Boland claimed today that following the oath of secrecy he signed in 1975, church authorities “reneged on what they said” and as a result it had “a big impact on my life”.

He recalled his abuse at the hands of Smyth who died in 1997 after being convicted of 91 counts of child sexual abuse which he had continued to perpetrate until 1993.

Boland said when he first told church authorities about his experience of abuse he ”didn’t know if it was right or wrong because he [Smyth]was a priest”. He said when he learned that Smyth had gone on to abuse after the complaint he made, he was “devastated”.

“He [Smyth] should have been taken out of circulation in 1975. The guilt that I felt of all the children after me who had been abused. I felt I didn’t do enough then.”

Of Brady he said: “He gave me and my father assurances that Father Brendan Smyth would be dealt with and that it would never happen again and he didn’t keep his promise, the church didn’t keep their promise.”

Boland told the programme that he did not believe all priests are bad and said that while he would try to get on with his life in the wake of this week’s settlement, ”I will always hope for an apology in public by Cardinal Brady”.