The Catholic Church here has paid damages believed to be well in excess of €250,000 to a female victim of paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

The out-of-court settlement was made without admission of liability on the part of the defendants.

The woman's case was due to go to a hearing in the High Court in a month's time. She is believed to have accepted apologies from the defendants.

The victim in this case is Marie McCormack, who now lives in Canada.

She was sexually abused by Brendan Smyth from 1970 to 1975.

She says that 35 years later, her marriage and quality of life have been greatly affected by the trauma of the violent abuse which began when she was 14 and continued until she was 20.

She sued Cardinal Seán Brady in his personal and official capacities, the diocese of Kilmore and the Norbertine Order to which Smyth belonged.

In her sworn affidavit, she accused Cardinal Brady of failing to tell the gardaí that the Church had received formal signed complaints against Smyth of sexual assault and paedophilia on two boys.

When he was a priest in 1975, Dr Brady had helped to investigate the allegations and had sworn the boys to secrecy about them.

Ms McCormack accused the Cardinal of failing to take any adequate steps to ensure that Smyth did not sexually assault her and other children, despite knowing about the complaints by the two male victims.

Since the controversy about the secret interviews became public last March, Dr Brady has said the did his duty by informing his bishop of Smyth's abuse of the boys, that he was not the designated authority to report to the gardaí and that Smyth's Norbertine Order was responsible for the paedophile following his speedy removal of his priestly functions in Kilmore and other dioceses.