The Cardinal Connell Files No 5 – Fr Naughton

February 9, 2008 at 11:40 pm Leave a comment

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Between 1983 and 1988, Father Thomas Naughton sexually abused an unknown number of young boys in three different Dublin parishes. During this time, the Archdiocese twice sent him to see psychiatrists for treatment, then returned him to work as a priest thus enabling him to continue to abuse children. In 1995 one of his victims, Mervyn Rundle, took a legal case against Father Naughton.

Here is how the Catholic Church dealt with this case. >>>

The Response to the Crimes of Father Thomas Naughton

In 1995, the Rundle family and the Archdiocese both contacted the police about Father Naughton’s sexual assault on Mervyn Rundle, who had been a nine year old altar boy at the time of the assault.

However, the Archdiocese concealed from the police information that they had about earlier sexual assaults by Father Naughton, who had admitted these crimes to Monsignor Alex Stenson. Mervyn Rundle then began his civil action. In 1998, Father Naughton was sentenced to three years for in prison for this and other sexual assaults on children.

In 2003, the Archdiocese agreed a settlement with Mervyn Rundle, under which they paid him an unprecedented €300,000 to €4000,000. In a statement read on his behalf to the High Court, Cardinal Connell apologized to Mervyn Rundle. He also acknowledged that, prior to this crime, serious concerns had emerged about his abuser, and that a better pursuit of these concerns could have led to Father Naughton being withdrawn from his clerical duties.

Mervyn Rundle told the Irish Times that, eighteen years previously, when his father had taken him by the hand to the Bishop’s Palace in Dublin, his nightmare had got worse. He said that Monsignor Alex Stenson had asked to speak to him alone. He remembered Monsignor Stenson saying “Stop your lies, stop telling your lies,” and he said that was terrified, “a 10-year-old child against all those big priests.”

He told the Irish Times that the civil action had taken seven years out of my life, and that the Archdiocese, under Cardinal Connell, had fought them every inch of the way, even after his solicitor got the Archdiocese’s documents on the case, and they then realized that the Archdiocese had known about Father Naughton’s crimes long before he had even come to Mr Rundle’s parish.

“They made made me go though seven years of fighting to get to this point,” he said. “They could have saved me all that.”

The Cardinal Connell Child Sex Abuse Files

The Cardinal Connell Files No 1 – Fr McGennis
The Cardinal Connell Files No 2 – Fr Payne
The Cardinal Connell Files No 3 – Fr Reynolds
The Cardinal Connell Files No 4 – Fr Walsh
The Cardinal Connell Files No 5 – Fr Naughton

The Scale of Clerical Sex Abuse of Children


Entry filed under: Ireland, News, Religion.

The Five Top Blogs at the Digital Media Awards The Cardinal Connell Files No 4 – Fr Walsh

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


February 2008
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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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