Oliver O’Grady, the former priest and convicted paedophile has reportedly left Waterford.
This news was relayed to The Munster Express on Wednesday last by a source close to the owner of the house where O’Grady had been living, one of two city properties he’d resided at since the Spring of 2014.
O’Grady, who has served two separate jail sentences; the first for abusing two brothers, the second for possessing explicit photographs of children on a laptop computer, had previously lived at a city centre apartment complex.
He returned to collect his belongings “lock, stock and barrel” on Wednesday last having left the address the previous Thursday, January 4th. It’s believed that renewed media interest in his whereabouts led to O’Grady’s decision to leave the city.
This coverage was largely prompted by a letter written to priests on December 21st last by Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, Alphonsus Cullinan, in which he highlighted O’Grady’s presence in the city.
O’Grady’s presence in Waterford, which has been reported on by both paid-for local titles on different occasions since November 2014, also generated headlines in national outlets including The Journal, The Sunday World, The Irish Sun, The Irish Mirror, The Irish Independent and The Irish Examiner.
Born in Limerick in 1945 and ordained in Thurles in the late 1960s, Oliver O’Grady emigrated to the United States and served at Saint Anne’s Catholic Church in California, between 1971 and 1978.
“Records show church officials knew about O’Grady’s alleged molestation as far back as 1976,” CNN reported in 2006. Church officials did not tell police about prior abuse when O’Grady was being investigated for abuse in 1984.”
In 1993, O’Grady was convicted on four counts of abusing two young brothers between 1978 and 1991, for which he received a 14-year prison sentence.
Over seven years into his sentence, O’Grady was paroled and deported to Ireland, living initially in the Mid-West.
Prior to his release, Bishop Stephen Blaire of the Diocese of Stockton in California negotiated a deal which saw Oliver O’Grady leave the priesthood in exchange for a pension that was due to kick in when he turned 65.
In 2005, he met with filmmaker Amy Berg in Dublin to film what he described in the following terms: “I want to promise myself this is going to be the most honest confession of my life. And in doing that, I need to make a long journey back, understanding what I did and to acknowledge that. And in some ways make reparations for that.”
Nancy Sloan, who was abused by Oliver O’Grady in California, said she wasn’t surprised to learn of his arrest for child pornography possession in 2010, adding: “I am horrified that he is out on bail and very afraid for any children whose path he crosses. He needs to be locked up forever.”
For the full text of this story see this week’s print edition of The Munster Express