Brady wants 'just resolution' of abuse case

Friday 26 March 2010 20.17
Seán Brady - Sued in his capacity as Archbishop of Armagh
Seán Brady - Sued in his capacity as Archbishop of Armagh

Cardinal Seán Brady has responded to a news report that he has been urged to withdraw his defence in a legal battle with one of Fr Brendan Smyth's alleged victims.

High Court documents show that the solicitor for the alleged victim says he was incredulous at recent expressions of remorse by the Primate and other church leaders when those statements were compared to Dr Brady's defence in the proceedings.

In a statement, Cardinal Brady said he wanted to work towards a just resolution of the case, conscious of the rights of all concerned.

He added that he had asked his legal representatives to engage today with the complainant's legal representatives with a view to progressing the case.

He said the matters concerned are the subject of ongoing legal proceedings, and in light of the instructions he had given to his legal representatives today, it would be inappropriate for him to offer any further comment at this time.

According to documents lodged in the High Court, the alleged victim is suing Cardinal Brady in his capacity as Archbishop of Armagh.

They say he was an altar-boy in Dundalk in the early 70s when Smyth sexually assaulted him in church, on a children's holiday in Co Cork and during a trip to Dublin for a Wombles concert.

The Cardinal's defence, which is dated February of last year and which is not sworn, denies that the acts alleged are grounds for suing him and asks for proof that they happened.

It also denies the man's claims that Dr Brady is the Catholic Church's representative here, that Smyth was his servant or agent and that the Cardinal owed the man any duty of care.

The alleged victim contends that the church called an ecclesiastical court to deal with the allegations and assured him and his father that Smyth would never be allowed to abuse children again.

The Cardinal denies calling such a court and giving such assurances.

Last month, the man's solicitor wrote to the Cardinal's solicitors, saying the defence was compounding the grievous wrongs perpetrated on his client.

He said it should be withdrawn to give practical expression to the Cardinal's recent statements of remorse about clerical sexual abuse.