St Patrick’s Cathedral "apologises sincerely and unreservedly" for abuse by Patrick O’Brien

The former lay worker was jailed for 13 years

St Patrick’s Cathedral "apologises sincerely and unreservedly" for abuse by Patrick O’Brien

St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin is lit up green to celebrate St Patrick's weekend in 2015 | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Church of Ireland has apologised to victims sexually abused by Patrick O’Brien.

The former lay worker pleaded guilty to abusing 14 young boys at various dates and locations over the past five decades.

O'Brien, of Knocklyon Road in Templeogue Co Dublin, was jailed for 13 years earlier this month.

He used to work as a volunteer at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the capital.

The court heard the 76-year-old used to take the boys away on trips and would abuse them in his car, office or on his boat.

The abuse took place at the cathedral - as well as other locations in Dublin and the Midlands.

In a statement, St Patrick’s Cathedral says it "deeply regrets the fact that children, the most vulnerable members of its community, were sexually abused by Patrick O’Brien.

"Patrick O’Brien was a member of the congregation and held the post of treasurer with an independent fundraising body, the Friends of St Patrick’s Cathedral.

"The cases of abuse that have been notified to the Cathedral date from the period 1978 to 1989.

"The community here is shocked at the enormity of the crimes perpetrated by Patrick O’Brien. These crimes against children have caused feelings of revulsion and immense sadness.

"St Patrick’s Cathedral is committed to ensuring the safety of all children in its care. The Cathedral fully implements the Church of Ireland’s child protection policy ‘Safeguarding Trust’.

"St Patrick’s Cathedral apologises sincerely and unreservedly for the fact that those victims and their families who needed and were entitled to care and support did not receive this. Once again, it commends the courage of Patrick O’Brien’s victims in coming forward."