Irish sex abuse priest jailed.
Dublin – A notorious Irish paedophile priest was jailed on Wednesday in a move that Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said he hoped would bring solace to his victims.
Father Thomas Naughton, 78, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment at a hearing in Bray Circuit Court south of Dublin following his conviction on charges of sexually assaulting a young altar boy between 1982 and 1984.
Martin said Naughton was an abuser who damaged the lives of many innocent young people, adding: “I hope those involved in today’s proceedings will find some solace and justice in his having to serve a jail sentence for his crimes.”
A damning report by judge Yvonne Murphy in November concluded that Dublin archbishops had concealed clerical abuse of children and failed to inform police of their crimes over a period of more than three decades.
Naughton, who had spent time in Africa and the West Indies after he was ordained in 1963 for the Saint Patrick’s Missionary Society, had already been sentenced to three years in 1998 for abusing four young boys.
However, Murphy said he had been named as an abuser by more than 20 people and there were “suspicions in respect of many more”.
Her report found Church officials moved Naughton from parish to parish as abuse complaints were made against him.
Last week Pope Benedict XVI apologised for sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, saying he “shares the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Ireland (over) these heinous crimes”.
Dozens sympathise with sex offender
ANNE LUCEY in TraleeDOZENS of people queued inside a Co Kerry courthouse yesterday to shake hands and sympathise with a man who was jailed for five years for sexually assaulting a woman in Listowel.
Danny Foley (35), a nightclub bouncer, Meen, Listowel, was sentenced to seven years with the final two suspended by Judge Donagh McDonagh in the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee. He had been found guilty two weeks ago of sexually assaulting a woman who was discovered by a Garda patrol in a semi-conscious state and naked from the waist down alongside a skip in a car park early on June 15th, 2008.
In her victim impact statement, the woman spoke of being “judged” in north Kerry, but said she was not sorry for telling the truth. Everyone in Listowel knew who she was, despite the press respecting her anonymity, she said.
“Even though my name has never been mentioned in the press, Listowel is not a big town and everyone knows it’s me,” the woman said. “I feel as if people are judging me the whole time. I’ve been asked by people I know if I am sorry for bringing Dan Foley to court. I am not sorry for it. All I did was tell the truth.”
About 50 people, mostly middle-aged and elderly men, queued yesterday to shake hands with the convicted man and hug him tearfully after he was brought from the cell to the dock, before Judge McDonagh entered the courtroom.
Before passing sentence, the judge criticised a character statement made by Castlegregory parish priest Fr Seán Sheehy. The priest had said Foley was always “respectful of women”, but Foley’s actions “gave the lie” to Fr Sheehy’s statement, the judge said.
Foley, who had been celebrating his 34th birthday on the night of the offence, had denied the charge. He told gardaí he had “found your wan” after he had gone to relieve himself near a skip at 3.50am. However CCTV footage showed him carrying her to the skip area. It also emerged he had met her earlier in a nightclub.
Judge McDonagh said the offence was at the middle to upper end of sexual assault. He noted that little or no remorse had been shown, nor any apology given to the victim, “surprisingly in the plea for mitigation”. He ordered that Foley be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.