Thursday, December 16, 2010

New investigation into abuse cover-up
Text Size: A A | POST A COMMENT | PRINT | SHARE Hundreds of children could have been saved from paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth had the sex abuse scandal been dealt with properly by the Catholic Church, a new UTV Insight Special programme reveals.

Insight preview
'How the cover up worked'
The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth - to be aired on Thursday - follows the trail of broken lives left behind by the sex predator who raped and assaulted children in Ireland, Britain and America as the Catholic Church covered up his crimes.

Journalist Chris Moore, who broke the Brendan Smyth child sex abuse story in a UTV documentary in 1994, believes many children were abused by the paedophile priest after allegations first emerged in the 1970s.

His documentary in 1994 revealed Smyth's history of serial child sex abuse and how the church admitted it had known about it and had moved him around, where he was able to continue to abuse other children.

In a new investigation, he hears from some of the victims Fr Smyth abused in America.

"He said that he had one more test he wanted to give me; that God wanted him to administer one more test for me. It was there that he sodomised me," an abuse survivor recalls on Thursday's programme.

The documentary also hears from a former priest, who was sent by his superiors into five locations where scandals had involved paedophile priests.

"His job was to go in there and to clean up the mess, to move the priest on, to make sure that the information about the scandal was not made public. He took that for five assignments, he said it was like working for the mob and he decided to leave. He now works for survivors of sexual abuse", the journalist explains.

The Father Brendan Smyth case rocked the church and the Irish Government - which collapsed in 1994 over delays in granting his extradition to Northern Ireland to face sex abuse charges.

Father Smyth was later jailed and died, aged 70, in August 1997, a month into his 12-year prison sentence.

Earlier this year, the head of the Catholic church in Ireland confirmed he was present at a 1975 meeting where two teenagers abused by Father Smyth were asked to take a vow of silence.

Cardinal Sean Brady apologised for failing to alert the authorities about the serial abuser.

"I think for the first time we were actually seeing some new information about how the cover up of paedophile priests worked", Chris Moore says.

"Cardinal Brady was telling us how he, as Father Sean Brady - a 36-year-old canon lawyer - was covering up for a crime by a paedophile priest."


Insight Special: The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth is on UTV on Thursday at 9pm.

© UTV News

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