Three Irish priests in abuse cases worked in Boston

UNDER pressure fromanti-abuse campaigners, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has been forced to confirm that three Irish priests accused of abusing children, including the notorious Brendan Smyth, worked there in the past.

In the wake of an abuse scandal here in Ireland, the Massachusetts-based group BishopAccountability.org, set up a database of 70 Irish- born priests who were accused of abuse and had served in US dioceses.

In December, the group called on Cardinal Seán O’Malley to identify priests with links to Boston.

In a statement, the archdiocese said three of the priests on the list, Brendan Smyth, Dennis Murphy and Joseph T Maguire, served in the Boston area for periods ranging from two days to four years.

“Based on our research, none of these three priests was the subject of an allegation here in the Archdiocese of Boston,” it said.

Joseph T Maguire worked with the Stigmatine Fathers at the Espousal Centre in Waltham, Massachusetts from 1981 to 1985. He was convicted of molesting more than a dozen boys in New Hampshire, and died in prison in 2005.

Dennis P Murphy was allowed to serve at St Cecilia’s in Boston in 1996 and 1997. He was placed on administrative leave by the Richmond Diocese in 2004 while the church investigated accusations of abuse.

Brendan Smyth was only there for two days in 1991 and served at St Camillus in Arlington. He later pleaded guilty to 74 counts of sexually abusing boys and girls in Ireland between 1958 and 1993. He died in prison here in 1997.

The archdiocese also confirmed that a fourth Irish priest who served in the archdiocese had been the subject of abuse allegations.

However, it said the allegations dated back 30 years and any action against him would have to come from his religious order here.


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