Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cardinal Brady to fight cases

Cardinal Brady to fight cases
John Downes, News Investigations Correspondent Sunday Tribunne

Under-fire Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady, who provoked strong criticism from survivors' groups last week after confirming he does not intend to step down, is set to continue to contest a number of outstanding High Court cases by victims of abuse.

This is despite concerns among survivors' representatives about the detrimental effect drawn-out legal cases can have on victims.

Among the cases involved is an action taken by a victim of the notorious paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth, who was one of two young people forced to sign an oath of confidentiality at two secret canonical inquiries which Brady attended in 1975.

Brady has acknowledged that he did not report the allegations to the civil authorities

The victim first brought the High Court case in 1997.

and has been involved in a legal battle since then in a bid to force disclosure of the documents relating to the Church's handling of the case.

But when asked this weekend if he intended to continue to contest the High Court proceedings taken against him by this victim, his spokesman said the interests of justice applies to all parties involved.

"Cardinal Brady will maintain his right to defend himself, both in his personal capacity and as Primate of All-Ireland, while seeking a just resolution for all involved," he said.

Brady responded to calls last March for him to withdraw his defence in a separate legal action taken by a male victim of Smyth by announcing that he had asked his legal representatives to engage with the complainant's legal representative "with a view to progressing the case".

In fact, he has been named a co-defendant, along with the head of Brendan Smyth's Norbertine Order, Gerard Cusack, in a total of five High Court cases since 1997. The latest of these was filed in 2003.

But when asked if he continues to contest any outstanding cases in which he is involved before the High Court, his spokesman reiterated that his position has not changed from that adopted by him earlier this year in relation to such matters. He said Brady cannot comment on the two cases which are in the public domain..

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