Former archbishops criticised over handling of Dublin abuse
Chapter 20 of Murphy report published this afternoon
Three former Archbishops of Dublin have been criticised in trenchant terms in a previously unpublished section of a report on the handling of child abuse cases in Dublin.
Chapter 20, which dealt with former priest Patrick McCabe (77), was released for publication by the High Court yesterday and placed in its entirety on the Department of Justice website this afternoon. McCabe walked free from court last March after an 18-month jail term was backdated by the judge.
Archbishop Ryan was Archbishop of Dublin between 1972 and 1984, Archbishop McNamara from 1984 to 1987, and Cardinal Connell from 1988 to 2004.
The chapter found “shocking”, Garda “connivance” having the affect of “stifling one complaint and failing to investigate another, and in allowing (then) Fr McCabe to leave the country”
McCabe was arrested in the US in August 2010 and extradited to Ireland in June 2011. Last October he was jailed for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of five schoolboys.
Last March he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to indecent assault of one boy at a Co Kildare school between January and April 1977. He also pleaded guilty to indecent assault of another boy at two locations in Dublin between January and September 1979. Both victims were 13 when molested by him.
At 62 pages Chapter 20 is the longest chapter in the Murphy report, which was published in November 2009.
The Chapter’s findings are among the most critical of church and Garda authorities made by the Murphy Commission, which investigated the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by church and state authorities in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese between 1975 and 2004.
In Chapter 20 the Murphy Commission said it was aware of 21 complainants where McCabe was concerned.
In Dublin McCabe served at the Pro Cathedral from 1971 to 1978, in Artane from 1978 to 1981,in Clogher Rd., Crumlin from 1981 to 1983, in Santa Rosa diocese California from 1983 to 1986. His faculties as a priest were withdrawn in 1987 and he was laicised in 1988.
The Murphy report found that: “Archbishop (Dermot) Ryan not only about knew about the complaints against Fr McCabe, he had a considerable understanding of the effects of abuse on children. This is one of the few cases in which he took a close personal interest.”
Murphy found that Archbishop Ryan “protected Fr McCabe to an extraordinary extent; he ensured, as far as he could, that very few people knew about his activities; it seems that the welfare of children simply did not play any part in his decisions.”
During the tenure of Archbishop Kevin McNamara, from 1984 to 1987, it found that in May 1986 Fr McCabe returned to Ireland from the US under a cloud following “stories of unappropriate conduct” at a Californian parish.
Murphy said that: “To the knowledge of the archdiocese, Fr McCabe stayed on in Dublin for the summer of 1986. His activities appear to have been entirely unmonitored, despite the archdiocese’s knowledge that he had been declared a paedophile and despite its knowledge of many complaints against him. He moved from house to house and he had the use of a car.”