Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Priest jailed for altar boy abuse

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin holds a copy of the Murphy report

A priest named in a damning report on child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese has been jailed for three years for sexually abusing an altar boy.

Fr Thomas Naughton, 78, abused the boy between 1982 and 1984 in the parish of Valleymount in County Wicklow.

The judge said the abuse as "shocking and horrific". He said Naughton abused his position of trust and said the abuse was "premeditated".

The last 12 months of his sentence were suspended.

Naughton's abuse featured heavily in last month's report which found there was a cover-up by the Catholic hierarchy in the Dublin Archdiocese between 1975 and 2004.

Bishop of Limerick Dr Donal Murray has come under pressure to resign for his "inexcusable" failure to investigate an allegation of abuse against Naughton.

The report found he did not deal properly with the suspicions and concerns that were expressed to him about Naughton while he was an auxiliary bishop of Dublin.

When, a short time later, factual evidence of Naughton's abusing emerged in another parish, it found Bishop Murray's failure to reinvestigate the earlier suspicions was "inexcusable".

In May 1998, Naughton admitted six counts of indecent assault on three boys. He was jailed for three years, reduced on appeal to two and a half years.

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