Brendan Boland recalls abuse by Father Brendan Smyth

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Brendan Boland was 11 years old when he was sexually abused by Fr Brendan Smyth.

Back in 1975, he reported the abuse to Fr (now Cardinal) Sean Brady and two other priests, hoping to end the abuse of him and others. After giving evidence to them he was sworn to secrecy.

Cardinal Brady signed two reports about the abuse of Boland and another boy and passed them on to his bishop, but the police were never informed.

It was not until 1994 that Smyth was convicted of dozens of offences against children over a 40-year period.

The Catholic church has said that "the sole purpose of the oath" signed by Brendan Boland in Cardinal Brady's presence was "to give greater force and integrity to the evidence given by Mr Boland against any counter claim by Fr. Brendan Smyth."

The Church also points out that in 1975 "no State or Church guidelines for responding to allegations of child abuse existed in Ireland".

This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church is broadcast on Wednesday 2 May 2012 at 2100 BST on BBC Two. Watch on BBC iPlayer (UK only) or check for repeats at the above link.

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