Former priest, Limerick-born Oliver O'Grady arrested on child pornography charges and will be returned to Ireland to face up to his crimes.

The former Catholic priest Oliver O'Grady has been arrested in the Algarve, in Portugal, under a European Arrest Warrant. 

O'Grady, born in Limerick, was ordained as a priest in California in 1971. The pedophile was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the United States for the rape and sexual abuse of at least 25 children, including two young brothers. 

He was paroled after seven years before being deported back to Ireland in 2000.

In 2006, O'Grady was the subject of an award-winning documentary, Deliver Us from Evil. The movie detailed how he preyed on children and how the Catholic church moved him from parish to parish and knew that abuses were happening. 

The documentary, by Amy J Berg, won the Best Documentary Award at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

In 2012, he was sentenced to three years in prison by Irish authorities when child pornography was discovered on his laptop, which he'd left on an Aer Lingus flight. Further investigations found nearly 280k images of child pornography on O'Grady's laptops and hard drives. 

Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria (police) confirmed on Thursday that O'Grady had been arrested on Monday (Oct 21). He is expected to be sent back to Ireland, the Irish Mirror reports.

It believed that O'Grady was picked up on a new offense unrelated to his previous crimes. The Policia stated "The Policia Judiciaria, through its Criminal Investigation Information Unit, carried out an operation on October 21 in the Algarve area, to execute European Arrest Warrants against two people, an Irish national and a French-Portuguese national, aged between 46 and 74.

"The Irish national was wanted by the Irish authorities on suspicion of a crime of child pornography.

"This individual, who has already done prison time for similar crimes in the United States, returned to his homeland where he alleged committed a new crime.

"He moved afterwards to Portugal and the Algarve area where he has now been located and arrested.

"He has been remanded in prison after a court appearance pending his hand-over to the Irish authorities. [sic]"

It is thought that O'Grady and the other man arrested were picked up after a tip-off by an organization dealing with child abuse which also subsequently discovered he was in hiding on the Algarve. 

While O'Grady was living in Ireland, after he served three years for the possession of child porn, a local Bishop issued a public letter warning priests, parents, and schools that a "dangerous pedophile" was in their midst. 

In 2018, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan wrote "I have today been updated about the activities of an extremely dangerous pedophile who lives in Waterford City but is not from here. Attached you will see his photo.

"Oliver O’Grady, ex-priest, is a convicted pedophile. He is actively seeking victims in our midst."

At the time O'Grady also admitted that he had been working to have his online history removed from the Internet so that his crimes might be forgotten. 

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