March 01, 2005

Order failed to notify gardaí of abuse claim


A religious order tonight admitted that it failed to notify the Gardaí about abuse allegations against a priest who carried out a "reign of terror" in Newbridge College.

The Provincialate Dominican Order said it had received the complaint about the college's former headmaster, Fr Vincent Mercer, in 1995.

"It was notified to our solicitors but the victim at the time asked that it not be notified to the Gardaí," said spokesman Fr Pat Lucey.

The Gardaí did not learn of the allegations against the 58-year-old priest until 2003, when further victims came forward.

Fr Mercer was given a three-year suspended sentence today at Naas Circuit Criminal Court for sexually abusing six schoolboys in Newbridge College, as well as two more boys at a holiday camp in Cork, between 1970 and 1977.

Posted by kshaw at March 1, 2005 03:01 PM