Waterford City-Night ViewA former priest labelled the ‘Hannibal Lecter of the clerical world’ who was released from prison last April, is believed to have been staying in Waterford city for the past seven months.
The Sunday World revealed that Oliver O’Grady, who has served two separate jail sentences; the first for abusing two brothers, the second for possessing explicit photographs of children on his laptop computer, has been staying at a city centre apartment complex.
When approached by Sunday World reporter Eamon Dillon within the past week, O’Grady questioned: “Why would you want to talk to me?” which led Dillon to reference O’Grady’s criminal convictions.
“That’s a long time ago now.” When asked by Eamon Dillon if he remained a danger to children, O’Grady replied: “No, not at all.”
Dillon’s report outlined Oliver O’Grady’s past, which included a videotaped deposition he made in 2005 in which O’Grady claimed to have abused 25 children in California, where he had served as a priest.
Born in Limerick in 1945 and ordained in Thurles in the late 1960s, O’Grady emigrated to the United States and served at Saint Anne’s Catholic Church between 1971 and 1978.
“In 1993, he was convicted on four counts of abusing two young brothers between 1978 and 1991 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison,” wrote Dillon.
“He was paroled after seven years and deported back to Ireland. Before his release, Bishop Stephen Blaire (of the Diocese of Stockton, California) negotiated a deal in which O’Grady would voluntarily leave the priesthood in exchange for a pension that would begin payments when the ex-priest turned 65.”
After living in Dundalk and the Dutch city of Rotterdam, a country he left in the wake of the broadcasting of the Oscar-winning documentary ‘Deliver Us From Evil’, which focused on O’Grady, he returned to Ireland in 2010.
But it was on that return flight, in leaving his laptop behind him which led to a second spell behind bars after it emerged that his computer (and USB drives) contained stored 280,000 explicit images of children, six hours of videos and 500-plus pages of internet discussions relating to child abuse.
Film maker Amy Berg, who directed ‘Deliver Us From Evil’, told the Irish Mirror on June 22nd: “Oliver O’Grady is a sick man who needs to be supervised. He should not be anywhere around children. People don’t like to think of paedophiles as sick, only as monsters for the horrific crimes they commit.
“We don’t like to deal with the need for treatment. O’Grady needs treatment and hopefully someone will recognise 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 four years ago.
“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.”
When asked by Eamon Dillon if he remained in touch with the probation services, Oliver O’Grady stated: “That would be the normal procedure, yes.”
O’Grady’s probation officer would initially have been sourced from Dublin’s Bridewell Garda Station following his release from Arbour Hill last April.
The relevant probationary paperwork would only follow him to Waterford in the event of his living full time in Waterford city, this newspaper has learned.