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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 9 July, 2020

"There have been people, young women, who took their own lives because of what Brendan Smyth did to them"

Fr Brian D’Arcy has spoken out about a number of issues in a recent Hot Press interview.

D'Arcy at a rally for businessman Seán Quinn in 2012.
D'Arcy at a rally for businessman Seán Quinn in 2012.
Image: Niall carson/PA Wire

OUTSPOKEN CATHOLIC PRIEST Fr Brian D’Arcy has said that young women have taken their own lives as a result of being molested by notorious paedophile Brendan Smyth.

In an interview featured in the latest issue of Hot Press Magazine, D’Arcy – who is also a journalist – criticised how the case of Smyth was handled by officials in the Catholic Church, and said that he knew of people who had taken their own lives because of his actions.

“There have been people, young women, who took their own lives because of what Brendan Smyth did to them,” said D’Arcy.

I know this personally. They took their own lives because of what Brendan Smyth did to them.

A former priest, Brendan Smyth was convicted in 1994 of 117 cases of indecent assault in Northern Ireland and the Republic over a period of about 40 years.

He had served less than a month of a 12-year jail sentence when he died in 1997.

The Catholic Church and authorities north and south of the border came under huge criticism for how the instances of abuse by Smyth were covered up for years.

brendan-smyth-victim-suicidal-abuse Brendan Smyth

Maynooth controversy

D’Arcy also touches off the recent controversies around the Maynooth priests’ training college.

Earlier this month, Maynooth training college made headlines after it was reported that a gay culture is prevalent on the campus, with some trainees using gay dating apps such as Grindr.

At the time, the college said there was “no concrete or credible evidence” that such a culture exists.

File Photo: Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has decided to stop sending seminarians from the Dublin diocese to St Patricks College in Maynooth. This follows media reports that there has been a gay culture among student priests in Maynooth, with some St Patricks College in Maynooth. Source: Eamonn Farrell/

D’Arcy said had “a difficulty” with the stories surrounding Maynooth.

“If they’re searching on Grindr, putting themselves forward as partners or looking for partners, yes, I do have a problem with it,” he said.

“Because you can’t suddenly decide that after four years training everything disappears and I’m going to stop being sexually active.

That doesn’t work. You’re simply codding yourself if you think that’s what’s going to happen.

D’Arcy also touches off issues surrounding contraception, leaving the priesthood and whether priests should be allowed to marry in the full interview.

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • National Suicide Helpline 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: Father Brian D’Arcy to lead prayers at State Funeral of Albert Reynolds

Read: Fr Brian D’Arcy defends appearance at Quinn rally

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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