Brendan Smyth victims want new hearing of case

Brendan Smyth

The emergence five years ago that senior clerics in the Catholic Church were fully aware of the abuse by Brendan Smyth in 1975 means three of his victims should get a new hearing of their damages claims, the Supreme Court has been urged.

The three — a man, his sister, and a cousin — settled actions in Northern Ireland in the late 1990s over the abuse by the since deceased Smyth for between £16,000 and £25,000.

The Northern cases by the man and his cousin were against Smyth himself, the Norbertine order, and the late cardinal Cahal Daly, as Church representative.

The sister’s case was just against the Norbertines, who paid all the settlement monies, and there was no admission of liability.

In 2014, the High Court halted actions the three brought here against Bishop Leo O’Reilly in his capacity as representative of the Kilmore diocese, over the 2012 information in which it was alleged there was a failure to stop Smyth’s abuse in 1975.

In 2015, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision dismissing their action.

A five-judge Supreme Court yesterday reserved its decision as to whether the High Court should rehear their actions.

Liam Reidy, for the boy and his cousin, said further injury was caused to his clients when the Church’s 1975 knowledge of the abuse came to their attention.

Rossa Fanning, for Bishop O’Reilly, said the man and his cousin, in settling their 1998 cases, had agreed it was not just in settlement against the defendants then, but against any linked parties.


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