‘He washed his hands in the altar bowl after abusing girl’


‘He washed his hands in the altar bowl after abusing girl’

The report of the Dublin Diocese Inquiry does not name the majority of abusers. However, some of the most notorious have faced the courts for their crimes or have died:



  • Fr Bill Carney

ONE of the most heinous sex offenders, Carney took a keen interest in visiting children at their homes, and even expressed an interest in fostering children of his own.

In 1983 he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two boys and was given the probation act.

After a church inquiry, Carney was admitted to hospital for treatment for alcohol addiction.

He later moved to Clogher Road, where further complaints were lodged against him but he refused to co-operate with diocesan superiors. Carney also took boys for swimming practice, sometimes with Fr Frank Maguire, a member of the Columban Missionary Order, who in 1983 had been appointed by the archdiocese to a north Dublin parish.

  • Fr James McNamee

THE late Fr McNamee was a long-time abuser who would invite children to his private swimming pool in the grounds of his parish house in Crumlin.

He is suspected of having abused more than 20 children in various parishes before he was assigned to a convent in Delgany, Co Wicklow.

But the nuns were not informed of Fr McNamee’s past and he continued to have access to children.

  • Fr Donal Gallagher

A PRIEST belonging to the Vincentian Order, Fr Gallagher was found to have sexually abused girls while hearing their confessions.

A schoolgirl complained that Fr Gallagher put his hands inside her clothes to molest her.

Afterwards, he washed his hands in an altar bowl which he kept in his confessional box and wiped his hands with a towel.

Despite complaints going back to the 1970s, Fr Gallagher continued to hold positions where he could abuse children.

Although his superior suspected him of improper behaviour, he stayed in ministry and was appointed to St Peter’s parish in Phibsboro and as chaplain to St Mary’s School for the Deaf.

In 1993, a social worker reported him to the gardai and the Vincentians referred him to the archdiocese for the first time. A garda investigation did not lead to Fr Gallagher’s prosecution and he died in 1994.

  • Fr Noel Reynolds

TEN years ago, Fr Reynolds admitted to the gardai that he had abused more than 100 children in eight different parishes in the Dublin Archdiocese, including Glendalough in Co Wicklow.

Ordained by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, Fr Reynolds was given access to children from 1967 through appointments as secretary of the Diocesan Commission on Religious Instructions in Vocational Schools, and later as a Diocesan Inspector of Primary Schools.

Serious allegations of abuse carried out by him date back to 1995 when he was parish priest at Glendalough, and parents complained to the Archbishop’s House that they had serious concerns about his behaviour towards their children.

The parents became increasingly angry with the Church’s failure to react to the allegations and threatened to go public unless something was done.

Cardinal Desmond Connell moved Fr Reynolds to Dun Laoghaire as chaplain to the National Rehabilitation Centre, which accommodated six long-stay children and a number of teenagers.

The archdiocese failed to make the hospital aware of complaints against Fr Reynolds; and when it discovered this from the RTE ‘Prime Time’ documentary, ‘Cardinal Secrets’, Cardinal Connell was forced to apologise to the hospital for not informing them of previous complaints. Fr Reynolds died in 2002.

  • Fr Ivan Payne

FR PAYNE was fond of calling his victims his ‘little angels’.

Born in August 1943, Ivan Payne is a former priest of the diocese of Dublin and a convicted child molester.

Payne became a household name in 2002 when it was disclosed that Cardinal Connell had given him a loan to pay compensation to a victim, Andrew Madden.

Payne was convicted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on January 26, 1998, of 14 sample charges of sexually abusing eight boys aged between 11 and 14 between 1968 and 1987.

The abuse took place while the victims were patients in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, in 1991 while Payne was hospital chaplain. He also abused altar boys in Cabra and served four and a half years in jail, but was released in October 2002 and was last known to be living in Wales.

  • Fr Frank McCarthy

AFTER luring a boy to his Wicklow parish house, Fr McCarthy regularly received the boy for weekend visits.

Over several years Fr McCarthy made a habit of sexually abusing the boy.

McCarthy’s priest friend, Fr Carney, would stay with McCarthy some weekends.


4 thoughts on “‘He washed his hands in the altar bowl after abusing girl’

  1. animals that what tey are catholic hiding its own a disgrace no wonder people have lost thier faith


  2. patricia, try a spell checker, and some punctuation. Perhaps you meant:

    Animals, that’s what they are. Catholic hiding its own. A disgrace. No wonder people have lost their faith.

    Find a decent school that can teach you grade 1 again, please.


    • Kan jy dit glo, ou Analfa kruip weg vir die rasionele denkers en kom skyt net so nou en dan om te wys hy lees nog ons argumente. (Verstaan jy darem iets, ou Analfa? – maar nou ja, die aap sal ook nie antwoord nie.)


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