Priest jailed for 'systematic' sexual abuse of boy

Friday 21 March 2014 22.36
Denis Nolan pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy in 2007
Denis Nolan pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy in 2007

A 61-year-old Catholic priest has been jailed for seven years for systematically sexually abusing a boy in Co Wicklow over a five year period beginning in 2007 when the boy was 12.

Denis Nolan, with an address at Carrigmore, Tinahely, pleaded guilty to sexual assault at that address between 1 January and 30 June 2007.

He also pleaded guilty to a total of ten counts of defilement of a child between 1 July 2007 and 25 August 2011.

All the acts of defilement took place in the Presbytery in Rathnew where Nolan was a curate for 15 years.

The victim, 19-year-old John Paul Hunter, waived his right to anonymity.

Judge Michael O'Shea said Mr Hunter was "exploited by the systematic sexual abuse" adding the victim impact report was harrowing in the effect the abuse had had on Mr Hunter.

Tonight, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has unreservedly apologised to Mr Hunter.

He revealed that a separate complaint received by the Archdiocese of child sexual abuse against Nolan, unrelated to Mr Hunter's case, led indirectly to today's conviction.

Following the April 2012 complaint, Nolan was removed from ministry and monitored by the diocese.

Dr Martin said all information received concerning the complaint was given to the statutory authorities.

The Diocesan Director for Child Safeguarding and Protection, Andrew Fagan, then visited Rathnew and met with parishioners and others in the community.

He said all relevant information from that visit was provided to gardaí and the HSE and a thorough investigation by gardaí led to today's conviction.