Paedophile ‘singing priest’ raped boy with crucifix but faces just two years behind bars
A paedophile priest faces two years in prison for raping a boy with a crucifix, a court has heard.
The 62-year-old predator Tony Walsh committed the offence and two other attacks on the same victim.
However because the offences were committed before the Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment Act came into effect in 1990, the maximum penalty the judge can impose on each offence is two years.
He was charged with indecent assault as that was the crime which existed at the time
Walsh forced the child to have sex in the parochial house and in the Phoenix Park.
During a three-day trial the shamed cleric, formerly of North Circular Road, Dublin, told the jury last month he never knew the boy and never assaulted him.
He had denied five counts of indecently assaulting the boy between January 1980 and December 1982 when the boy was aged between 10 and 13.
The jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court returned verdicts of guilty on all counts.
In court yesterday Garda Tara Corrigan told prosecutor Fiona McGowan that Walsh has 17 previous convictions, from 1995 to 2015, for sexually assaulting boys and one girl.
He is serving time and is not due for release until 2021.
Before Judge Elma Sheahan adjourned the case defence counsel Ciaran O’Loughlin said as the victim had made a statement to gardai in April 2011, it could have been dealt with at the same time as Walsh’s most recent case last year.
He suggested to Judge Sheahan there was likelihood the judge would have imposed a concurrent term.
During the trial Walsh, who had performed as an Elvis impersonator, told the jury his child sex abuse started in 1980 and continued to 1986.
He said a number of the children told their families what was happening and he was called in by the Archbishop in 1986.
Walsh added he was sent for six months treatment in the UK and on his return home he was made a hospital chaplain.
He said he first came to garda attention in 1995. In 1997 he admitted to offences involving five boys in the period 1980 to 1986. Asked why he admitted it, Walsh replied “Because I was guilty”.
He was sent to prison for 10 years, reduced to six on appeal. He was released in 2002.
In 2010 the pervert pleaded guilty in two further cases and not guilty in one case but was convicted.
In 2013 he pleaded guilty to two more cases.
‘Singing priest’ sentenced for abusing boys
A former priest who is serving a 16 year sentence for the rape and abuse of school boys has had 15 months added to this sentence for abusing two other boys in the 70s and 80s.
Tony Walsh, who was known as the “Singing Priest”, is due to have the entirety of his sentence reviewed by the Court of Criminal Appeal next month.
Walsh (59) formerly of North Circular Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of indecent assault on January 01 and April 4, 1979. The victims were aged between ten and 11.
Judge Martin Nolan said that Walsh had worked his way into the confidence of the families of the two victims with “cold blooded intent”. He said the sexual assaults were aggressive and incredibly frightening for the children involved.
He said that the abuse has had serious and long term effects on the victims.
Remy Farrell SC, defending, said that Walsh had already received a substantial sentence of 16 years for other offences and that it would be unduly punitive to add to this sentence.
Judge Nolan disagreed and said he would “unusually” impose a sentence consecutive to the existing prison term in order to recognise the seriousness of the offences and the harm Walsh had done. He said that the latest sentence should go before the Court of Criminal Appeal next month when Walsh’s current sentence is appealed.
Garda John Barrett told Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that the first victim was aged 11 when Walsh caught him eating sweets outside the church before taking Holy Communion.
The boy told the priest he was having a “mixed grill” and this comment angered Walsh. Walsh took the boy into the priest’s house and sat him on his lap.
He told him that his parents would be angry at him for not going to mass. He then pulled the boy’s trousers and pants down and masturbated the boy.
The victim said he got a fright because he had never ejaculated before. Walsh then put his penis between the boy’s thighs. He told the boy he wouldn’t hurt him and began pulling the victim into him until he ejaculated.
The victim told gardai later that he didn’t understand what was happening and that afterwards he pulled away in total terror and started crying.
Walsh told him that his parents would not believe him if he told them. The abuse only came to light in 2008 during bereavement counselling after the victim’s father had died.
The second victim was aged around ten or 11 when Walsh abused him on Good Friday 1979. The boy knew Walsh was involved in the “All Priest’s Show” and was excited to be offered a chance to travel in the priest’s white BMW one afternoon.
He said he felt special to have been picked for the treat and thought they were going to visit some other friends. Instead Walsh took the boy to the Parochial House.
He put the boy on his lap and the boy said he could feel the priest’s penis and genitals. He said he was in total fear of what was going to happen to him. The priest was rubbing his penis against the boy and was touching his genitals.
The priest had a hold of the boy’s buttocks. The boy was struggling to get away but Walsh kept pulling him back. The victim said he felt confused and didn’t know what to do.
After the assault Walsh took the boy to a nearby hotel and bought him a drink and a fry-up.
The victim didn’t tell his mother about the abuse until he was 14. He did however tell her about the hotel visit and she was shocked that the priest had bought a fry on Good Friday.
Mr Farrell said his client was in his mid 20s when he carried out these offences. He said he apologised to his victims and had entered an early plea of guilty in both cases.