Brendan Smyth is buried in pre-dawn ceremony


The convicted paedophile Brendan Smyth (70), was buried yesterday in a pre-dawn ceremony at his order's Kilnacrott Abbey in Co Cavan. The lights from a hearse were used to light up the graveside as the coffin was lowered at about 4.15 a.m. The funeral was attended by seven Norbertine priests and some local people.

Smyth's family stayed away for fear of a media presence. Four gardai stood in the background. The burial followed a requiem Mass in the abbey at 3.30 a.m. In a statement, the Norbertine order said: "We were earnestly requested by the family to conduct Father Brendan Smyth's burial services in private and we have at tempted to do that in every way."

Preliminary results of a post mortem indicate Smyth died from a heart attack. He was taken to Naas hospital last Friday after collapsing in the Curragh Prison where, last month, he began serving a 12-year sentence. He had pleaded guilty to 74 charges of indecent and sexual assault over 35 years.

Meanwhile, a Sligo priest has defended the inclusion of Smyth in prayers for the dead at a Mass in the town last weekend. A number of people walked out from 11 a.m. Mass at St Anne's Church on Sunday when Father Sean Page included Smyth in his prayers. Father Page said yesterday that what Smyth had done was serious but it was a matter between him and God and he could not "stand between God and another person".