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Found guilty Notorious cleric abuser Oliver O'Grady to be sentenced for child porn offences

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Oliver O'Grady

Oliver O'Grady

Oliver O'Grady

ONE of the world’s most notorious cleric sex abusers has been convicted of possessing child porn at a house in Waterford.

Last Tuesday, former priest, and convicted paedophile Oliver O’Grady was found guilty of knowingly possessing child pornography whilst living at Otteran Place, South Parade Waterford.

It was alleged that, while living at the house, he received a loan of a computer, which some months later, was found to have a sexually explicit video of a young girl.

The defrocked priest had denied the charge.

O'Grady, originally born in Limerick, was ordained as a priest in California in 1971.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the United States for the rape and sexual abuse of at least 25 children, including two young brothers.

He was deported back to Ireland in 2000 after being granted parole by US officials.

In 2006, O'Grady was the subject of an award-winning documentary, Deliver Us from Evil.

The Oscar-winning film detailed how he preyed on children and how the Catholic church moved him from parish to parish and knew that abuses were happening.

In court last week, the owner of the Waterford home where O’Grady had been staying, Gabrielle Dalton, testified that O’Grady had been recommended to her by a “religious couple.”

Defending Mr O’Grady, Sean Rafter BL made an application to Judge Eugene O’Kelly, in the absence of the jury, that he not be referred to as a “former priest”.

It was felt that the assumption as to how someone could become a former priest, could be prejudicial.

The Judge allowed the application, and it was decided that for the sake of the trial, O’Grady would be referred to as a man with a “significant interest in Roman Catholicism."

The first witness to be called was the man who made the initial complaint against Mr O’Grady - the owner of the computer - Mr Richard Walsh.

Mr Walsh testified that he was a tenant at Otteran Place with a number of other people, a lot of whom he didn’t know.

He described the accommodation as “transient” and said that people were coming and going.

Mr Walsh recalled learning that O’Grady was learning the Italian language and had been visiting the public library.

When O’Grady told him that the opening times for the library were inconvenient, Mr Walsh offered him the use of a spare computer he had.

However, the accusation against Mr O’Grady came to light a few months later.

Mr Walsh had taken the computer back some time in March 2016 and in the early hours of May 12, Mr Walsh and his friend Joomie Sheehan turned on the computer at his new home in Ursula’s Terrace.

Giving her evidence, Joomie Sheehan said that she accessed the computer through the “Home” profile, which was password protected but she said accessed it by simply typing “password”.

After a short period, she accessed the downloads folder and found Mr O’Grady’s last will and testament as well as some documents relating to the Italian language.

Both Ms Sheehan and Mr Walsh testified that they found the video in the downloads folder, watched it for a few seconds and then turned it off when it became “quite obvious what the video was”.

The video in question was showed to the jury in court. It showed an immature looking girl, semi naked and performing sex acts in front of a web camera.

In court, Mr O’Grady watched the entirety of the video, only taking his eyes off the screen at the end, to write something in his notebook.



At the start of the trial, Mr O’Grady’s defence team made a number of admissions, notably that there were a lot of cached images of homosexual sex on the computer as well as a number of sexualised images of young boys in underwear, which they said, were not unlawful.



Their main defence was that there were so many people coming and going in the house that there was no way to say for sure that Mr O’Grady was indeed the person who downloaded the video.

They said that in order for the jury to come to a guilty verdict, they would first have to be certain that the girl in the video was under 18, which was almost impossible to prove for certain because there was no identifying data with the video.

They also, he said, would have to be certain that Mr O’Grady was in fact the one who downloaded it, when so many others in the house could have had access to the computer.

Conor O’Doherty, prosecuting, said that from the download records, it was clear that Mr O’Grady was the primary user of the computer.

He pointed to a number of internet searches that he said corroborated this fact, such as searches on Roman Catholic websites for the lyrics to O’Holy Night and the Catholic Magnificat.

At the same time as these searches were taking place, Mr O’Grady was also searching for “young boys in underwear” and “men in briefs”.

It took the journey a little over two hours to reach their guilty verdict. Mr O’Grady will be sentenced on October 27.


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