Head of Irish Catholic Church agrees deal with sex abuse victim

November 30, 2011

(Cardinal Sean Brady speaks during a news conference at the Vatican following a two-day meeting with Pope Benedict XVI February 16, 2010. REUTERS/Max Rossi)

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has agreed to a legal settlement over his role in administering an oath of secrecy to a teenage victim of clerical sexual abuse in 1975, the victim’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

Cardinal Sean Brady has previously said he was ashamed that he had been present at meetings where children had to sign oaths of silence about allegations of abuse against Nobertine priest Brendan Smyth, one of Ireland’s most notorious paedophiles. Many victims have called on Brady to resign.

Smyth died in 1997, just one month into a 12-year sentence after pleading guilty to 74 charges of indecent and sexual abuse on boys and girls for more than 30 years, many after Brady oversaw the oath.

Brendan Boland, now 50, sued Brady over his role in administering an oath of secrecy after he was abused by Smyth from 1973, when he was 12 years old.

A lawyer for Boland told reporters a settlement had been reached with the cardinal to end legal proceedings but declined to give further details. Irish media reported the settlement included a six-figure euro sum for Boland.

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