Judgment reserved in appeal brought by former priest and convicted child rapist

Walsh, known as the “Singing Priest”, is serving 16-year sentence.

Mr Justice John Murray, presiding alongside Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, said the court would reserve its decision to a later date. Photograph: Reuters

Mr Justice John Murray, presiding alongside Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, said the court would reserve its decision to a later date. Photograph: Reuters

Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 01:00

The Court of Criminal Appeal has reserved judgment in the case of former priest and child abuser Tony Walsh, who is appealing separate sentences of 16 years and 15 months imposed on him for the rape and sexual abuse of young boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

Walsh (59), who was known as the “Singing Priest” for his role in a travelling all-priest vocal group before he was defrocked, is serving a 16-year sentence imposed on him in 2010 for the rape and abuse of three schoolboys.

Last year Walsh, formerly of North Circular Road, Dublin, had 15 months added to this sentence for abusing two other boys.

Moving the appeal yesterday, counsel for Walsh, Remy Farrell SC argued for a reduction in his client’s sentences.

He said a comment by the then sentencing judge that Walsh had fought his case tooth and nail gave rise to an error.

Referring to case law, counsel said it seemed to penalise somebody for exercising their right not to plead guilty.

Mr Justice John Murray, presiding alongside Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, said the court would reserve its decision to a later date.