November 24, 2002
Ambrose victims seek reassurance

By Cormac O’Keeffe in The Irish Examiner

Survivors of paedophile cleric Brother Ambrose yesterday sought reassurances from the Brothers of Charity that the ailing brother will not have access to children and will receive professional help.

“We want reassurances that he will be as secure as possible and never be left near children again and gets all the therapy he requires,” said Paul Maloney of the Cork branch of Right of Place.

Right of Place represents many people abused by Brother Ambrose at the Lota children’s home in Glanmire, Co Cork, in the 1940s and 1950s.

The 77-year-old cleric, who uses two crutches, will be released through the main gates of the Curragh this morning, after serving just three years of a 36-year sentence.

There was controversy last month when Father Ivan Payne was secretly released from the Curragh in the middle of the night to avoid media attention.

But Brother Ambrose will be released in the normal fashion and will be taken from the Curragh by members of the Brothers of Charity to a secret location.

There was anger last week among victims of Brother Ambrose when Cork Circuit Criminal Court ordered his early release. Brother Ambrose, also known as James Kelly, pleaded guilty in 1999 to 18 sample counts of abusing children at Lota.

Last March, Kelly was further jailed for five years after 77 additional charges of sexual assault were made against him.

But the Cork Circuit Criminal Court suspended that last four years in light of the cleric’s poor health and age.

Earlier this month, the court dismissed an application from the DPP to increase the prison sentence imposed on the grounds that it was unduly lenient.

At the Cork Circuit Criminal Court last week, Judge Patrick Moran told victims of Brother Ambrose that he would be housed in a place where he would not be in a position to re-offend.

He said the cleric would live out the rest of his days at the unnamed institution.

The court was told that Brother Ambrose would receive counselling and therapy and gardaí would be notified of any change of address.

Mr Maloney said as far as he knew Brother Ambrose had received therapy while in prison. He said leaders of the Brothers of Charity had done a lot of good work to help victims of past abuse. He also added that “hounding” people like Brother Ambrose was not the answer

Posted by paul at November 24, 2002 01:24 AM
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