Tag Archives: Brendan Boland


Brendan Boland, who was abused by Fr Brendan Smyth and who was made sign an oath of secrecy in the company of Cardinal Seán Brady in 1975 following a canonical inquiry into the allegations of abuse

“[Gardaí] are equally as responsible as the Catholic church because they chose not to prosecute him,” [Mr Boland] told BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme.
“And if they had prosecuted him back then I would never have met him, so I’d never have been abused in the first place. I can’t imagine what my life would’ve been like now. I don’t think it’ll ever leave me.”

Cardinal Brady’s apology to Smyth’s victims was “a last-ditch attempt to save his face and the face of the Catholic church”, Mr Boland said. He added that the senior cleric had made an attempt to contact him previously to apologise, but that it was to be “under his conditions”. “If I had have went I would’ve felt like a little boy again being scrutinised in his environment,” he said. “I refused to go.”

Fr Brendan Smyth victim: Police must be held responsible for abuse (BBC)

Previously: ‘I Hope This Arrangement Will Be Satisfactory’

Cardinal Brady: More Than Just A Notetaker

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Cardinal Sean Brady, top, whose resignation letter was accepted by Pope Francis yesterday, and RTÉ’s Tommie Gorman on the Nine News last night

Did you catch Tommie Gorman’s bizarre report on the resignation of Séan Brady last night?

Grab a tay. It gets very unctuous.

Eileen Dunne: “Tommie, the whole sexual abuse [issue] dominated Cardinal Brady’s time in office but there was more to his time in Armagh than that?”

Tommie Gorman: “There was Eileen. I remember at the time the Brendan Smyth story first broke, a very senior politician asked one of his advisors ‘what’s a paed-eo-phile?’. He didn’t understand the nature of evil or, indeed, he didn’t understand its consequences. And I think the problem for Seán Brady was he had evil people reporting to him, he was responsible for them. And I think in the later years of his life, you could see that he carried the burden of that knowledge, he carried that pain. But there was an awful lot more to him. He was very big into church relations. He was the first primate to officially meet Ian Paisley. He worked very hard behind the scenes and up front, in relation to the peace process. He came from a Border county. He was a very generous man. Those people who knew him in Cavan, those people who knew him when he was a parish priest, those people who knew him in Rome, talked about his kindness to people. The small little acts, not in a public way at all. I also think it can be said about him, with pure certainty, that he’s not a vain person, there’s not an ounce of vanity in him. And I think he will be remembered for those qualities as well. And one final point about him, I don’t think anyone will doubt that, throughout his life, that he tried to be consistent to his vocation, that he tried to be faithful to his vocation.”



Watch back in full here

Previously: Goodbye Sean Brady

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Cardinal Sean Brady, who is due to offer his resignation as the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, when he turns 75 on Saturday – as is necessary under canon law.

Cardinal Sean Brady secretly interviewed victims of the late Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975, including Brendan Boland, then aged 14, and never told the authorities of what the victims, including Mr Boland, said.

Cardinal Brady also never told the parents of other children who were being abused, the names and addresses of whom were given to Cardinal Brady by Mr Boland. Smyth went on to abuse at least one of those children, and many others.

In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Justine McCarthy wrote about Cardinal Brady’s pending resignation, saying:

“An unspoken gentlemen’s agreement among Ireland’s establishment that Brady be allowed to glide serenely off centre stage is a kick in the stomach for survivors, especially for those who, as children, were raped and molested by the late Fr Brendan Smyth.”

Ms McCarthy also wrote how Cardinal Brady recently confirmed to the Sunday Times that he never cooperated with the Garda investigation into Smyth, which led to Smyth being jailed in 1997, and that, indeed, he didn’t even know about it.

Why did he not know? Was he on Mars? How else did he escape the wall-to-wall news in November 1994 that the Irish government [led by Albert Reynolds] had collapsed following a controversy sparked by a UTV documentary over the state’s failure to extradite Smyth to Northern Ireland, where he had been arrested and bailed on child sexual abuse charges? A month after the government fell, Brady was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Armagh, making him the heir apparent as the doyen of the Irish church. The following year, two other priests who were present when Brady co-signed an oath of secrecy by Brendan Boland, aged 14, were interviewed by gardai investigating Smyth. One of those priests was Monsignor Francis Donnelly, a priest of the Armagh archdiocese. Did Donnelly never mention his garda interview to his boss and fellow inquisitor Brady?


Sunday Times article unavailable online.

(Photocall Ireland)

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You may recall how Brendan Boland, from Dundalk, was one of two boys sworn to secrecy in 1975 by Cardinal Seán Brady, after he was sexually abused as a child by the late Fr Brendan Smyth.

Fr Smyth raped and abused more than 100 children between the 1940s and 1990s.

In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Justine McCarthy reported on how Mr Boland has written a book, Sworn To Silence, which was published last Thursday.

In her article Ms McCarthy told how Cardinal Brady offered Mr Boland €10,000 to settle his High Court case for damages and to include legal costs for 14 years’ litigation but that Boland settled the case for €100,000 plus costs in 2012.

Ms McCarthy also wrote:

In his book, Boland, a technical support engineer who works in the UK, said he asked a garda who worked on the investigation which led to Smyth’s imprisonment in 1997 if Brady was interviewed as part of their inquiries. He received an inconclusive answer.

Two other priests who attended the secret interview with Boland in March 1975 were interviewed by gardai in 1995.

A spokeswoman for the Catholic hierarchy has confirmed that Brady was not interviewed by gardai.

“Cardinal Brady had no knowledge of a garda investigation in the early 1990s regarding Smyth,” the spokeswoman said. “If he had been approached by the gardai he would have made a statement.”

A political controversy over the State’s failure to extradite Smyth to Northern Ireland brought down the Fianna Fail-Labour government in November 1994. Brady was installed as a cardinal and the primate of Ireland the following month.

Sworn To Silence (Brendan Boland)

Previously: Lose The ‘Wounded Healer’

Brady And The Victims

Cardinal Brady: More Than Just A Note Taker

Related: Revelations spark calls for cardinal to step down (Irish Independent)

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland