Support groups call on Seán Brady to resign

Monday 15 March 2010 22.27
Seán Brady - Does not believe he should resign over the revelations
Seán Brady - Does not believe he should resign over the revelations

Support groups for rape victims have joined calls for the resignation of Cardinal Seán Brady.

Dr Brady has reiterated his determination not to resign, after he confirmed that he was present in 1975 when two young victims of paedophile priest the late Brendan Smyth were asked to sign an oath of secrecy.

This evening, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre claimed Dr Brady had covered up his involvement in the Fr Smyth affair, while the Rape Crisis Network accused him of being personally implicated in collusion with clerical child sexual abuse.

Both organisations called for his resignation.

Marie Collins, who was abused by a priest in the Dublin diocese, has called for the remit of the Murphy Commission to be extended to every diocese in the country saying Dr Brady had lost his credibility.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News At One, Ms Collins said Seán Brady has lost his credibility.

In an interview with RTÉ News this morning, Dr Brady said it was not a resigning matter and he rejected the suggestion that his silence had allowed Fr Smyth to continue to sexually assault children for a further two decades.

The Cardinal - then a part-time secretary to the then Bishop of Kilmore, the late Francis McKiernan - took notes during two meetings with children who he believed had been abused by Smyth.

The senior churchman said his actions in 1975 had been part of a process that removed the shamed cleric's licence to act as a priest. He maintained that Smyth's Norbertine Order was otherwise responsible for him.

Fr Brendan Smyth later admitted a litany of sex attacks on around 90 children over a 40-year period and was sent to prison - where he died in 1997.

Ms Collins earlier said the State needed to establish how many other abused children had to sign oaths of secrecy and how many other clerical abusers had been protected in this way.

Those comments were echoed by Colm O'Gorman, who said Cardinal Brady rose through the ranks in the Catholic Church while Smyth continued to rape and abuse children.

Fr Kevin Hegarty, the first priest to publicly challenge the bishops' handling of clerical sexual abuse, said Cardinal Brady should reflect on his position.

Murphy denies garda inaction

The Garda Commissioner has dismissed as 'unsubstantiated' an allegation by a senior Catholic church lawyer that gardaí were negligent in not catching Brendan Smyth.

On Today With Pat Kenny this morning, former Canon law Professor Monsignor Maurice Dooley said Seán Brady should not have gone to gardaí with the allegations.

Monsignor Dooley claimed that as Fr Brady had been conducting in camera investigation within the church, he would have been violating his responsibilities if he had reported to gardaí.

Monsignor Dooley also said other people were responsible for subsequent activities, particularly Fr Brady's religious superiors at the time.

Yesterday, Cardinal Brady rejected claims that he had failed to act and said he was not the designated person responsible for contacting the relevant statutory authorities.

HELPLINES

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre: 1800 778888 (24 hour helpline)
HSE helpline: 1800 235 234 (office hours)
One in Four: 01-6624070 (office hours)
The Samaritans: 1850 60 90 90