CARDINAL Brady has said that some of the intimate questions put to Brendan Boland by the church inquiry team in 1975 were wrong.
Cardinal Brady told The Irish Times:
“I am sure they (the questions) would not be asked that way (now). You see we were without any guidance at that stage from either church or state. We were without training. It was a new situation.”
Cardinal Brady said his role on that church canonical inquiry team was to take notes, yet, a document in his own handwriting states that he himself had been delegated to investigate the allegations of sexual abuse against Fr Brendan Smyth.
And a statement from the Catholic Communications Office in 2010 said Cardinal Brady – then Fr Brady was there “to conduct a canonical inquiry into an allegation of child sexual abuse which was made by a boy in Dundalk, concerning a Norbertine priest, Fr Brendan Smyth.”
The statement said “because he held a doctorate in canon law, Fr Brady was asked to conduct this canonical inquiry”.
At that inquiry in 1975, when 14-year-old Brendan Boland was interviewed by the church inquiry team without the presence of his parents, Cardinal Brady, who was then a priest in the Kilmore diocese, was given, by Brendan Boland, the names and addresses of five children who had been abused by the Smyth.
This vital information was not given to the parents of the five children or to the police authorities here or in the North.
“I took on board what he (Brendan Boland) said and I did what I thought was most effective in stopping this terrible abuse by referring it to the man who had the power to curb the movements of Brendan Smyth, namely the abbot of Kilnacrott,” Cardinal Brady said.
The BBC documentary by Darragh McIntyre This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church, it was shown that two of the boys whose names had been given to the inquiry by Brendan Boland, continued to be abused by Fr Brendan Smyth.
The sister of one of the boys and four of his first cousins, were also sexually abused by Smyth for a number of years.
The Cardinal said he had been devastated when he was later told that Smyth went on to abuse this boy, his sister and his cousins.
“I was in a culture of deference and maybe unhelpful silence and did not raise the matter again, but that was out of respect for confidentiality and the seriousness with which I took that. But I honestly believed that it would be dealt with,” Cardinal Brady said.