Main Offenders: Victims Tell Their Stories

 

FR EDMONDUS (pseudonym): “He abused his power and used my respect for his religious position to abuse and degrade me – a child – not just a child but a sick child. How much lower than that can you sink? A man like that deserves our prayers but not our protection.” – Marie Collins

FR DONAL GALLAGHER:“One complainant told the commission that Fr Gallagher would abuse her in confession by putting his hand down her trousers. She was nine years old at the time.

“He would have an altar bowl and a napkin at one side. When he had finished abusing her he would wash his hands in the altar bowl and dry them with the napkin.”

FR X:“Fr X had visited her home on a number of occasions. The last time he was in her home a female helper employed in the house entered her six-year-old son’s bedroom and found Fr X lying on the child, who was naked on his bed.

“Fr X tried to pass it off as a game. It was reported that the little boy later remarked that Fr X was choking him and that he thought priests were holy.”

FR HUGO (pseudonym):“Fr Hugo had been sexually abusing her continuously between 1959 and 1976, and the abuse included full sexual intercourse from the time she was a child. At first she did not know what was happening to her. Fr Hugo sent her to a nun to explain the facts of life. He also told her what to say in confession.”

FR NOEL REYNOLDS:“He said he had admitted to their mother that he had abused her daughters. He said he offered their mother £30,000 in compensation but that she did not accept it . . . he also offered as evidence to the gardaí the crucifix with which he said he had abused one of the complainants.”

FR HARRY MOORE:A complainant sexually assaulted as a teenager by the priest told gardaí that “he and a group of his friends used to drink with Fr Moore. On one occasion he poured out his soul to the priest because he had problems at school and at home. The priest brought him to his own house and plied him with several kinds of drink. He woke from a semi-conscious state to find Fr Moore preforming oral sex on him.”

FR BILL CARNEY:A priest who “accompanied Bill Carney and some boys (from St Vincent’s industrial school, Drogheda) on holidays in 1973 gave evidence to the gardaí that while he never saw any sexual abuse on that holiday, Bill Carney did say to him that ‘you have to sleep with them because they are insecure’ ”.

FR FRANK McCARTHY:“The priest asked him to sit on his knee. He was about 10 years old at the time. He sat on his knee and he remembered the priest kissing him and putting his tongue into his mouth. He said he was brought up to his bedroom and he [recalled] the priest performing oral sex on him on this occasion.”