More jail time for Ireland’s ‘singing priest’, Tony Walsh
Walsh, 63, above, who gained fame in Britain and Ireland in the 1980 with his Elvis impersonations, has been sentenced to two years in prison for sexually assaulting a boy. On one occasion he inserted a crucifix into the his victim’s anus.
According to this report, Walsh is currently serving a 17-and-a half-year sentence for other sexual offences against children.
A Roman Catholic, Walsh –well-known for his Elvis impersonations on Father Michael Cleary’s All Priests Show – was found guilty in his latest trial of forcing the child to have sex twice.
The first incident happened in the parochial house in his parish and on another occasion in a tunnel under Dublin’s Phoenix Park, where he raped the child with a holy cross.
The victim, who was ten when the abuse began, said that he was happy with the outcome but “exhausted and drained” after the three-day trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
It will take some time to process the whole thing.
The jury of two women and ten men returned verdicts of guilty on all counts after approximately one hour of deliberation following a three-day trial.
The priest, formerly of North Circular Road, Dublin, pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of indecently assaulting the boy on dates between January 1980 and December 1982. The boy was aged between 10 and 13 years old at the time of the abuse.
The Murphy Report, into historic cases of the sex abuse against children within the Catholic church in Ireland has described Fr Tony Walsh as:
Probably the most notorious child sexual abuser to have come to the attention of the Commission… His pattern of behaviour is such that it is likely that he has abused hundreds of children.
It was reported here that, during the trial, Walsh told the jury that his offending in relation to children 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.
He said he was sent for six months treatment in the UK and on his return home he was made a hospital chaplain.
In 1997 he pleaded guilty to offences involving five boys in the period 1980 to 1986. Initially he was jailed for ten years and this was reduced to six years on appeal. He was released in 2002.
In 2010 he pleaded guilty in two further cases and not guilty in one case but was convicted by a jury. In 2013 he pleaded guilty to two more cases. Walsh said that in 2015 he was convicted by a jury in relation to the sexual abuse of a girl.
The victim in the latest trial told the jury that initially Walsh had sat him on his knee and pulled him backwards with a gyrating motion.
On further occasions Walsh sat him on his knee and then pulled down his trousers and underwear before fondling his genitalia. He said he sometimes remembered music playing. Walsh told him it was Elvis.
He also recalled being bent over a sofa by Walsh who then assaulted him. He said on another day he felt something being put “inside his bum” and afterwards saw a crucifix on the ground behind him.
He said on the final occasion Walsh asked him to go for a walk and brought him to the Phoenix Park. They went for a walk and into a tunnel were there was a mattress on the ground. Walsh pulled down his underwear and assaulted him again.
Hat tip: Peter Sykes