Northern Ireland

Church pays Father Brendan Smyth abuse victim £200k

Father Smyth
Image caption Father Brendan Smyth leaving court with two police officers

The Catholic Church in Ireland has paid damages believed to be well in excess of 250,000 euros (about £207,000) to a female victim of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth.

The out-of-court settlement was made without admission of liability on the part of the defendants.

Her case was due to go to a hearing in the High Court in a month's time.

The victim, who now lives in Canada, is believed to have accepted apologies from the defendants.

She sued Cardinal Sean Brady in his personal and official capacities, the diocese of Kilmore and the Norbertine Order to which Smyth belonged.

The woman accused the Cardinal of failing to take any adequate steps to ensure that Smyth did not sexually assault her and other children, despite knowing about complaints by two male victims of Smyth.

She said that 35 years later, her marriage and quality of life have been greatly affected by the trauma of the violent abuse which began when she was 14 and continued until she was 20.

In her sworn affidavit, she accused Cardinal Brady of failing to tell Irish police that the Church had received formal signed complaints against Smyth of sexual assault and paedophilia on two boys.

When he was a priest in 1975, Dr Brady had helped to investigate the allegations and had sworn the boys to secrecy about them.

The woman accused the Cardinal of failing to take any adequate steps to ensure that Smyth did not sexually assault her and other children, despite knowing about the complaints by the two male victims.

Since the controversy about the secret interviews became public last March, Dr Brady has said the did his duty by informing his bishop of Smyth's abuse of the boys.

He also said that he was not the designated authority to report to the Irish police and that Smyth's Norbertine Order was responsible for the paedophile following his removal of his priestly functions in Kilmore and other dioceses.