Priest jailed for 18 months for abusing boy
A Dominican priest has been sentenced to three years in jail with the final 18 months suspended after he admitted subjecting a young boy to eight years of sexual abuse about 20 years ago.
Fr Vincent Mercer (66), the Black Abbey, Kilkenny, pleaded guilty to 39 counts of sexually assaulting the boy in Cork and Limerick and elsewhere between January 1st, 1986, and February 22nd, 1994.
Yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Garda Caroline Keogh told how the abuse took place when Mercer, who is out of ministry but remains a member of the Dominican order, was attached to St Mary’s Church on Pope’s Quay in Cork city.
The victim’s parents trusted Mercer and he was a weekly visitor to their home. The abuse happened when Mercer took the boy in his car to prayer meetings as well as on overnight stays at religious centres.
Mercer had gone for treatment to Britain. In 2003, he admitted abusing boys while teaching at Newbridge College and in 2005, he received a three-year suspended sentence.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a three-year sentence but suspended the final 18 months.
He ordered that his name be placed on a sex offenders register for 10 years.