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Paedo priest Brendan Smyth paid off victim with mass card money

NewsBy Steven Moore
Brendan Smyth
Brendan Smyth

Paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth paid off one of his child sex abuse victims with cash he made from selling mass cards, we can reveal.

The Sunday World has learned that the notorious paedo cleric made a $20,000 money transfer to a victim he had abused in Langdon, North Dakota.

The money was paid to a 12-year-old boy who had been raped by Smyth during his time in the United States – where he was sent by the Catholic Church following abuse allegations in Ireland.

And Smyth, who abused hundreds of children over a 40-year period, is believed to have used cash he ‘earned’ from a lucrative mass card operation he ran.

Evil Smyth fooled parishioners into buying his specially signed cards – which would cost five punts at the time – by claiming the money was going to missions.

“It’s more evidence of just how low Brendan Smyth could stoop,” said a source.

“He used money that no doubt came, in some cases, from family members of his victims to pay off other people he had abused.”

We can also reveal how Smyth, despite having taken a vow of poverty, lived a life of luxury which saw him driving top-of-the-range cars and was never short of cash. The behaviour of Smyth, who died in prison of a heart attack in 1997 aged 70, has been the subject this week at the Historical Abuse Enquiry in Banbridge, Co Down.

The inquiry, led by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, is examining child abuse allegations in church, state and voluntary children’s residential institutions dating back to 1922.

Now for the first time we can reveal Smyth not only made tens of thousands of Irish punts and sterling pounds from selling mass cards, but that he used the money to pay off his victims to stop them going to the police.

One source told the Sunday World this week how the priest made “a fortune” from signing Mass cards.

“Brendan Smyth was signing Mass cards on an almost industrial scale,” the source told us.

“One woman who still owns a shop in Cavan said she would bank around £5,000 every year into a local Ulster bank account.

“He was prolific – he drove all over Co Cavan and West Belfast leaving mass cards in shops.

“If he was making that much from one shop then he was likely to be raking in tens of thousands of pounds.”

One source who knew about his Ulster bank account said: “His account was always very healthy.” And the same source says they had been told about a $20,000 payment to an account in Langdon, North Dakota.

“I am aware of money being sent from his Ulster bank account in Cavan to North Dakota,” said the source. “It was apparently payment to a victim of Smyth’s who was raped when he was 12.”

This article appeared in the print edition of the Sunday World on June 28