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Hearing to determine if two of Fr Smyth’s victims may sue Cardinal

By Sarah Mac Donald - 22 October, 2013

Previous settlement may preclude further action by brother and sister against Primate.

A brother and sister from Belfast, who suffered abuse at the hands of Fr Brendan Smyth, will learn in November if they may proceed with their action against Cardinal Sean Brady.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, who is president of the High Court, on Monday directed that a case be heard on 28 November on whether a previous settlement precludes the man and woman from bringing their legal action against the Primate of All Ireland.

The two victims of abuse are suing the Cardinal over his role as a part-time secretary to Bishop McKiernan in 1975 during an investigation into abuse complaints against Nobertine priest, Fr Brendan Smyth.

The action also involves Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore as the successor to Bishop Francis McKiernan.

Bishop McKiernan it is alleged failed to take steps to ensure Fr Smyth did not continue to carry out sexual attacks on the children in the 1970s and 1980s.

The hearing in November will determine where a settlement which the brother and sister secured in 1998 in Northern Ireland from the Nobertines precludes the case against the bishops going ahead. 

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