Former priest jailed for abusing three boys

Monday 06 December 2010 21.53
Tony Walsh - Abused three boys during the 70s and 80s
Tony Walsh - Abused three boys during the 70s and 80s

A former Dublin priest has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for abusing three young boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

The final four years of the sentence were suspended.

Tony Walsh was convicted by a jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last month of indecently assaulting and raping a boy over five years when his victim was between seven and 12 years old.

Walsh, who was a member of the All Priests Show, last week pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two other boys.

Judge Frank O'Donnell imposed prison sentences ranging from four years for indecent assault to 16 years for the most serious offence. The sentences will run concurrently.

Walsh's senior counsel, David Keane, said he had been instructed to ask for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence in relation to the offences for which Walsh was found guilty by the jury.

Leave to appeal was refused.

Following the sentencing, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin issued a statement saying he hoped that 'the finality of the legal process will help bring them some sense of justice, of healing, of closure and hope for the future'.

'I can only unreservedly apologise to the victims of this man for what they endured and for the way in which the diocese failed them.'