'Predator' priest sentenced to two years for sexual assault


A priest who sexually abused boys in the Diocese of Meath, including at two parochial houses, has been jailed for two years at Trim Circuit Criminal Court.

Fr Raymond Brady (77) from Baltrasna, Oldcastle, Co Meath, acted “like a predator”, said Judge Michael O’Shea.

Brady admitted indecently assaulting 10 boys – some of them brothers – at different locations including the parochial houses in Drumconrath and Kilbeg. He also admitted attempted indecent assault on another boy. Assaults also took place in a caravan in Bettystown and in the priest’s car as he took the boys to and from funeral Masses.

Most of the victims were altar boys and they were aged between 11 and 17.

The court heard that some of the boys were abused as they sat on the priest’s knee in the sitting room of their family home while their mother was in the kitchen making tea.

Another boy told Det Garda Bryan Moroney he woke in his bedroom to find the priest standing there – Brady knew the boy was on his own in the house and had let himself in before sexually assaulting him.

Two of the now middle-aged men read victim impact statements to the court. One said he still went to Mass and “it maddens me the way we are asked to pray for the church but nobody is ever asked to pray for the abused”.

He said he met Bishop of Meath Michael Smith several times but he never spoke to him about what happened. “I want everybody to know what Fr Brady has done,” he said.


The abuse came to light when one of the victims told a priest in Co Louth who immediately contacted the Garda.

Det Garda Moroney of Kells led the investigation. When he interviewed Brady, he said, the priest accepted the assaults were “motivated by sexual gratification”. Brady gave evidence and apologised “to anybody I have hurt or harmed in any way”.

The court heard he stopped abusing in the 1970s after “an encounter” with a teenage girl who was the victim of abuse, “who opened his eyes to the impact of sexual abuse on a child for the first time”. Senior counsel Padraig Dwyer, defending, said Brady has been suspended for a “considerable period of time from engaging in any activities in connection with the church”, and that he would be laicised after the court case.

Passing sentence, Judge O’Shea said, “I am satisfied he acted as a predator.” He said the sexual abuse could only be described as “humiliating, horrific and disgusting. He took their childhood and innocence from them.”

He took the guilty pleas into account and imposed the maximum two-year jail term on each of the 11 charges; they will run concurrently.