Ex-priest Tony Walsh is sentenced to 16 years

Abuse victims flood Irish support groups with calls


Ex-priest Tony Walsh is sentenced to 16 years

Irish support groups have received a “steady flow” of calls from survivors of clerical sexual abuse, and their friends and families, following the release of Chapter 19 of the Murphy report on pedophile ex-priest Tony Walsh.

Walsh was previously jailed for the abuse of six boys. He has now been sentenced for the abuse of a further three boys. Dublin Rape Crisis Centre chief executive, Ellen O’Malley, said the flow of calls from victims and their family has been constant since the publication of Chapter 19.

Many of the calls the group has received have been from the parents of the victims. She said many of the parents did not believe their children when they said they had been abused. She said “These parents are absolutely heartbroken” and explained that in some of these cases “their children have taken their own lives”.

Maeve Lewis, director of One in Four, a support group for survivors of clerical abuse said there was a “big increase” in calls after the release of Chapter 19. She said “a lot of people calling were very upset and distressed and angry”.

Connect, a telephone counseling service, was open over the weekend and experienced an increase in calls.

Many of Walsh’s victims were abused in Ballyfermot, north Dublin. On December 12 Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin spoke in advance of the publication of Chapter 19 and apologized to the people of the parish.

Meanwhile Cardinal Sean Brady, who swore to secrecy the two child victims of pedophile Brendan Smyth 35 years ago, has said he will not resign, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The renewed call for Cardinal Brady’s resignation came from the last woman to be abused by Smyth. The woman, who was 12 at the time of the abuse in 1993, said she would not have been raped by “the devil Smyth” if Brady “had done his job” and reported Smyth to the police in 1975 after Brady had interviewed children about him.

UTV, a television channel based in Northern Ireland, investigated the story and highlighted a statement by Cardinal Brady saying that if he thought his actions had damaged children, he would consider resigning.

On Friday, his spokesman said Cardinal Brady was only a priest at the time not a manager.


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