\"Ex-priest

Ex-priest Tony Walsh is sentenced to 16 years

Time to prosecute abuse cover-ups in the Catholic Church

\"Ex-priest

Ex-priest Tony Walsh is sentenced to 16 years

Read more: New Murphy report section shows evidence of Dublin priest pedophile ring

Read more: Priest played Elvis music to drown child's screams

The Sunday Tribune newspaper in Dublin reported that it was very likely a pedophile ring of at least five priests operated with impunity in Dublin during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

The newspaper explained how the priest concerned divvied up the altar boys and other victims and how children suffered multiple rapes from the group’s members.

Their shocking revelation came after the jailing of Anthony Walsh, a defrocked priest who molested over 100 children during his infamous clerical career.

The jailing of Walsh finally allowed for the missing chapter in the Murphy Commission report on clerical child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese to be made public at last.

The report called Walsh the most notorious pedophile of all, and showed that he was protected completely by the church, all the way up to the Vatican, before he was finally uncovered.

This was despite the fact that the first complaint about Walsh came very early in his career as a priest and he was reported on numerous occasions afterwards.

Among other crimes, Walsh raped a 7-year-old young boy on the altar, tied him down with ropes from his vestments and played Elvis Presley music out loud to drown his screams.

When finally Archbishop Desmond Connell wrote to the Vatican asking for Walsh to be defrocked they refused and ordered him sent to a monastery instead.

The Murphy Commission reports that numerous conferences were held by all the senior clergy in the archdiocese to discuss the Walsh case, yet at no time did any clerical figure decide to report him to police for raping young boys.

This is a time in Ireland where there are many calls for the heads of bankers and others involved in the crash landing of the Irish economy.

Heinous though their crimes may be, they pale beside the sins of a pedophile ring ignored and silently approved at the very top of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

It is time that some of the priests who saw no evil in these evil men themselves feel the application of the law.  Covering up pedophilia, transferring a notorious child rapist from parish to parish, denying access to Irish police to records, are surely crimes worth prosecuting.

Yet many of those complicit continue to serve in major roles in the Irish church today, including two bishops. They use the same excuse as the Nazi collaborators that they saw no evil and were merely bystanders.

But hundreds of defenseless children were raped as a result of the blind eye turned.

It was not until Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was sent to Dublin from Rome that the scope of the issue was fully investigated and understood.

Martin did a superb job, but pretending that pedophilia was some kind of victimless crime where the enablers are without blemish is patently ridiculous.

It is time to call these men what they were, accomplices to the most sickening crimes ever committed in Ireland, and stop them hiding behind a collar.

Does the Irish state have the nerve to prosecute them? Time will tell.

Read more: New Murphy report section shows evidence of Dublin priest pedophile ring

Read more: Priest played Elvis music to drown child's screams

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