Kerry Lawless, an abuse survivor who secured the conviction of Patrick O'Brien in 1989 has criticised St Patrick's Cathedral for failing to prevent the abuser from gaining access to children after his initial conviction.
The former Church of Ireland volunteer was today sentenced to 13 years in prison for sexually abusing 14 boys over a period of 40 years.
O’Brien, 77, pleaded guilty to 51 sample charges out of a total of 159 abuse offences.
The Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dr William Morton said St Patrick’s Cathedral and the wider Church of Ireland are “enormously dismayed at the extent and at the nature of what happened with regard to the abuse caused by Patrick O’Brien.”
Mr Lawless doubts the Church’s sincerity.
Speaking to RTÉ News, he said: "At the time my parents went to the cathedral to inform them of what was going on but nothing happened, and Pat remained linked with the cathedral until 2005 when I went back to the cathedral."
At that stage, Mr Lawless sought compensation from the church authorities and they responded by underlining their distress at the abuse he suffered.
However, they stated that it was very hard to see how, from a legal point of view, the board of the church could be liable for O’Brien’s actions since that he was neither a cathedral cleric or employee.
When asked about the response at the time, Dr Martin said: “We are, as I have said, dismayed at what happened. And we are presently as a church deliberating upon our response to all of that.
“We are dealing at this particular time, and today, with the fact that O’Brien has been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.”
Five years ago, Mr Lawless began alerting his former classmates and friends about his experiences at the hands of O’Brien, and some of them were responsible for securing today’s convictions.
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