An ex-priest who was based in Thomastown and Kilkenny city in the early 1970s has been jailed for indecently assaulting boys at various locations in Co Meath. Raymond Brady (77), Baltrasna, Oldcastle admitted ten offences of indecent assault and one of attempted indecent assault at Trim Circuit Court last week. Harrowed witnesses heard the crimes had been committed at parochial houses in Drumcondrath and Kilbeg as well as in the victims homes and at a caravan in Bettystown. Brady had assaulted his victims on dates between April 1st. 1968 and June 30th. 1976 when the boys were aged between 11 and 16 years old.
In most cases the assaults began when the victims were altar boys and continued in their homes after Brady had befriended and won the trust of their families. On some occasions Brady would be in the sitting room with the boy on his knee fondling him while the victim’s mother was in the kitchen making tea for the priest. On other occasions Brady brought the boys on trips and allowed them drive his car while he abused them. The victims in statements read to the court said that the priest’s actions had ruined their childhood and caused many problems for them in later life. Some said they were still haunted by what had happened. A number said they had turned against the Church and no longer attended Mass because of what he had done. One said that while he still attended Mass he became angry when asked every Sunday to pray for the Church but not for the abused
Two brothers said they had been shocked to learn after 40 years that each had been abused by Brady.
Brady was based in Thomatown in 1960 and moved to St John’s parish in the city before goling back to Meatyh in 1967. The victims who are now in their 50’s said they had been afraid to tell anyone what had happened and the matter only came to light when one of the men who had been abused from 1967/8 to August 1974 approached the gardai in 2008. The abuse started when he was an 11 year old altar boy ringing the church bell and got progressivley worse and more frequent over the years. The abuse began with fondling, but later included masturbation and oral sex the court heard. ‘He’s basically telling the truth’, said Brady to gardai when confronted with the victim’s complaints. A defence barrister said that Brady stopped the assaults in 1978/79 when an encounter with a teenage girl who had been sexually abused opened his eyes to the impact of sexual abuse on children. Brady apologised in court for the hurt and harm he had caused the victims and for the way he had betrayed the trust of their families. He also apologised for the hurt he had caused his own family and apologised to the Bishop and the priests of Meath in making their job more difficult through the scandal of his actions. The court heard that Brady had become a boarder at St Finian’s Mullingar when he was 13 years old and went directly to Maynooth to study for the priesthood. While in his first year at the school Brady had been sexually abused by a teacher who was also a priest. Judge Michael O’Shea said that Brady had acted as a predator and the abuse could only be described as ‘humiliating, horrific and disgusting’. He said that from their statements the victims had lived a nightmare because of the abuse which still haunted them. However he said they had now been believed and vindicated. Judge O Shea imposed concurrent maximum sentences of two years on each of the eleven charges.
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