Nearly 30 years after he was originally convicted, former priest Bill Carney has finally been arrested in London. He will soon appear in court to face the charges of sexual abuse made against him, according to the Irish Sun. Having avoided punishment of any sort, and receiving $39,283 from the Catholic Church to leave the priesthood, his case has been called “tragic” and “nothing short of catastrophic.”
Dating all the way back to the 1970s and 80s, a priest in Ayrfield, Dublin, by the name of Bill Carney used his status as means to prey on innocent children and is only now being truly punished.
A BBC article from 2010 exposed Carney’s horrific nature and the glaring wrongdoings of the Catholic Church in efforts to cover up another child abuse scandal. The article cites the Murphy Report, from the current case against Carney. It states, “The Commission is aware of compliments or suspicion of abuse against him in respect to 32 individuals. There is evidence that he abused many more children.”
Ordained in 1974, Carney, a priest and scout troop leader surrounded himself with children. He created a seemingly fun-loving environment with swimming trips, free soda, and a personal video player. The pedophile then began to terrorize the children, both girls and boys, who admired and trusted him.
As complaints and accusations began appearing, the justice system in Ireland passed on most of the prosecution and discipline of Carney back to the Church. Bishop James Kavanagh was described by the Murphy Report as having “a soft spot for Carney” and protected the criminal from the law.
The report also noted that despite one policeman’s effort to bring the court’s attention to the horrible accusations, Carney was only charged with two counts of indecent assault in 1983. The charges were kept quiet from the media and only troubled Carney with probation.
The Church eventually internally convicted Carney of child abuse in 1992. Carney then refused the idea of leaving the parish and had to be paid €30,000 to leave. With €30,000 of the Catholic Church's money, the pedophile moved to Cheltenham and started a new life in Scotland running a B&B. Due to the fact that his crimes were committed before the 2003 Sex Offenders Act in Ireland, Carney’s past was unknown to his new community. Carney was even able to marry a woman without her ever knowing his horrific crimes. The Murphy Report says the Catholic Churches mishandling of Carney was “nothing short of catastrophic.”
In 2004 one victim, Paul Dwyer, tried telling police about Carney. However, his first-hand account was not seen as enough evidence and the case was dropped. In the weeks following the case’s dismissal, Paul Dwyer tragically committed suicide. In an interview with the BBC, Dwyer’s mother explained that her son “wanted Carney in court so he could ask him why, why had Carney raped him? That never happened and the way things are going, the way the police and the clergy are handling it now I can't see it ever happening."