Tony Walsh, a former priest known as the ‘Singing Priest’, is currently serving a 16-year sentence for the rape and abuse of school boys and has had a further 15 months added to his sentence due to two more victims coming forward.
Walsh, (59) from Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of indecent assault on January 01 and April 4, 1979 against two victims aged 10 and 11.
Remy Farrell SC, who was defending Walsh, said that his client had already received a substantial sentence of 16 years for other offences and that it would be unduly punitive to add to this sentence but Judge Martin Nolan disagreed and said that Walsh had worked his way into the confidence of the families of the two victims with “cold-blooded intent”, the Independent writes. He said the sexual assaults were aggressive and incredibly frightening for the children involved and that the abuse has had serious and long term effects on the victims.
The abuse of the first victim only came to light in 2008 during bereavement counselling after the victim's father had died. Walsh had caught him eating sweets outside the church before taking Holy Communion and was angered when the child told him he was having a “mixed grill”. Walsh then took the boy into the priest's house and abused him, telling the boy that his parents would not believe him if he told them.
The second victim was abused on Good Friday 1979 when Walsh offered him a chance to travel in the priest's white BMQ at an “All Priests Show”. After the assault Walsh took the confused boy to a nearby hotel and bought him a drink and a fry-up. The victim did not tell his mother about the abuse until he was 14 but did tell her about the hotel visit at the time. She remembered being shocked that the priest had bought a fry on Good Friday.
Judge Nolan said that he would “unusually” impose a sentence consecutive to the existing prison term in order to recognise the seriousness of the offences and the harm Walsh had done. He said that the latest sentence should go before the Court of Criminal Appeal next month when Walsh’s current sentence is appealed, Independent.ie reports.
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