NewsCrime Desk

Sex abuse teacher stripped of papal award

Nicholas Lundberg (Pic: Herald)
Nicholas Lundberg (Pic: Herald)

A former editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper has been stripped of a papal honour after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy more than 50 years ago.

Nicholas Lundberg (75), of St Werburgh in Swords, had been awarded the Order of St Gregory the Great by the Pope in 1989 to mark the centenary of the Irish Catholic.

TV star Jimmy Savile received the same award in 1990.

However, in June this year Lundberg's award was revoked after it emerged he had been involved in the sex assault case.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to indecent assault on a boy from a Raheny school between July 1963 and June 1964. But the case was struck out at Dublin District Court with the facts proven in March this year even despite Lundberg's admission of guilt.

The judge made the decision because Lundberg's victim had previously sought and accepted compensation from him before reporting the matter to gardai.

Although he was not convicted, the fact that Lundberg admitted to the abuse and paid compensation to his victim was deemed enough for his papal honour to be removed.

"Mr Lundberg had been awarded the Knight of St Gregory the Great in 1989 but in June this year it was removed from him," a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Dublin told the Herald. The evidence heard in the case was that when Lundberg was a 24-year-old teacher he invited his victim to his home on trust and brought him into a room which he then locked.

Lundberg then blindfolded his victim and asked him to touch items of furniture in the room and identify them. Then he asked the boy to touch parts of the teacher's body before holding the boy's hand around his private parts.

Lundberg's victim said he was pleased to hear he had his papal award revoked.

"I was always aware that it was the same award that Jimmy Savile had received and am delighted that the Church, who usually move slowly, were swift in the action," he said.

Conor Feehan