Ex-priest sentenced for assault on boy (10)

Sat, Jan 19, 2013, 00:00

A serial child abuser and former priest has received a three-year suspended sentence for molesting a 10-year-old boy 30 years ago.

Patrick Maguire (75), who is currently living under a strict regime with the Columban Fathers in Dalgan Park, Navan, Co Meath, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to indecently assaulting the boy in Dublin on dates between October 1st, 1981, and May 1st, 1982.

The ex-priest has 15 previous convictions for similar offences of abusing young boys and is a registered sex offender.

Maguire’s defence counsel, Shane Costelloe, told Judge Mary Ellen Ring more charges pending against his client were before the courts and other people have made complaints to gardaí.

‘Compassionate’ report

The court heard that the now 40-year-old victim prepared a “compassionate” victim impact report in which he stated that he had since forgiven Maguire. The victim said he was not a vengeful person and he asked the judge to be lenient on Maguire.

“It looks like his past has come back to haunt him,” he said in his report.

The man said he was “appalled at the church, who knew about Maguire’s crimes and did nothing” about them.

The man did not disclose the abuse to his family until 2011, just before he made a formal complaint to the Garda.

Mr Costelloe said his client, who was ordained when he was 24 years old, was deeply ashamed and was mortified by the level of compassion shown by the victim.

“It was an appalling breach of trust of the worst sort,” Mr Costelloe said.

The judge said a letter from the Columban Fathers contained an apology to the victim and outlined the strict regime they have placed on Maguire.


She described Maguire’s behaviour as “inexcusable” and said he had “robbed the victim of an innocence he was entitled to”.

The judge said he had abused the boy’s trust and that of his parents in a “vile way”.

She sentenced Maguire to three years in prison, which she suspended in full on strict conditions, including that he remain living under the care of the Columban Fathers, that he have no unsupervised contact with children and their families and that he liaise with the Probation Service for three years.

Pieter Le Vert, prosecuting, described a “compassionate” victim impact report in which the man said the fact that he kept the abuse a secret for so long had affected every aspect of his life.

The Columban Fathers had offered a sum of money “as a concrete expression of Maguire’s remorse” that was accepted by the victim.