Fr Brendan Smyth (above) and the Irish College in Rome
At the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry
Jospeh Aiken, counsel for the inquiry said: “The Norbertine order believes that knowledge of Brendan Smyth’s activities exists prior to his ordination yet he was ordained as a priest in any event.
“A complaint had been made about Smyth when he was a student in Rome in the 1940s. He was accused of abusing a child in the vicinity of the college.”
He was told that the Abbott General – the Norbertine order’s most senior figure in Rome – had recommended Smyth not be ordained, but the advice was ignored.
…Smyth’s direct superiors felt it would be a shame if their first student in Rome failed, and they did not want the Abbott General “interfering” in the business of their particular Abbey, it emerged.
Fr Smyth would go on to abuse ‘hundreds’ of children before he was finally arrested in 1994.