Statement issued on 9 November 2012

Fr Ray Brady (77), a priest of the Diocese of Meath, pleaded guilty to a number of charges of child sexual abuse and was today sentenced in Trim Circuit Court. Fr Brady, ordained in 1960, was removed from ministry, in accordance with Church guidelines, in 1999 when I was first informed of allegations against him. Today I wish to express my profound sorrow and shame to those who were abused by Fr Brady, and to their families, for the pain and trauma inflicted on them. Such abuse was a betrayal of trust by him and I condemn it unreservedly. I want to assure them that they are and have been in my thoughts and prayers throughout this process.

If I can speak directly to the victims: I offer you my humblest apologies for the betrayal of trust you have experienced.  I welcome the fact that your experiences are heard and believed. I hope that, justice having been served, it will facilitate your path to healing and inner peace.

The painful facts of this case of abuse are a stark reminder that the diocese must be ever vigilant in its efforts to safeguard children. I wish to reassure everyone that the highest possible standards exist in our parishes to safeguard children and young people. The Diocesan Safeguarding Children Committee has policies and procedures, which have been implemented in all 69 parishes by the Safeguarding Representatives in those parishes.  Over many years the diocese has worked in close cooperation with the HSE to achieve this objective. It continues to be a pastoral priority of the diocese to provide a safe environment for children and young people, to ensure their safety and enable their full participation in the life of the Church.

I encourage anyone with concerns regarding the safety of children to contact, without delay, the Gardaí or the HSE or our diocesan designated liaison person, Fr Sean Henry.