Bishop of Galway Brendan Kelly apologised for the “criminal and immoral” behaviour of Fr Tom Brady, who was sentenced for abusing a child this week.
Tom Brady was sentenced to two years in prison this week after pleading guilty last November to sexually assaulting a then 12 year old boy.
The final six months of his prison sentence were suspended.
The 66 year old man entered a plea to a single count of sexual assault on a boy at the Parochial House in Ballybane between July 1994 and February 1995.
He had been charged with a total of 20 offences of sexual assault on the same boy.
In a statement after the sentence was announced today, Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh, and Kilfenora Brendan Kelly acknowledged the courage of the victim who came forward, and the suffering they had gone through.
He condemned the “betrayal of trust” that came with a child being abused by a representative of the church, saying that no-one should have to go through something like that.
Fr Brady has been on leave from ministry since May 2016 the diocese’ said.
Bishop Kelly’s full statement on the case reads:
“Today I wish to acknowledge both the courage of the person who brought this complaint and the related suffering endured by the victim in order to ensure that truth and justice have been served.”
“I also wish to acknowledge the pain which this case has brought to the victim’s family. I apologise for the trauma caused by Fr. Brady’s criminal and immoral behaviour.”
“Nobody should have to experience inappropriate behaviour from a Church representative, and least of all from a priest. Such abuse was a terrible betrayal of trust and I condemn it unreservedly.
“Today’s news challenges all of us involved in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults in our diocese. I wish to expressly acknowledge the commitment of Safeguarding Representatives in each of our thirty-nine parishes.”
“These parish volunteers are supported by the very active Diocesan Safeguarding Committee as well as the Designated Liaison Person and Support Persons. Thanks to their good work and vigilance, the safeguarding of children continues to be a pastoral priority in our Diocese.”
“In this regard, I also wish to acknowledge the support of the National Case Advisory Committee and the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.”
“I encourage anyone with concerns regarding the safety of children to contact the Gardaí, TUSLA, the HSE or the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora without delay.”
“A Canonical Inquiry will be initiated in due course”.