Former Resident, Priest Earns Release in Ireland

A former Catholic priest and Alameda resident was released from prison in his native Ireland after pleading guilty to child-abuse charges last Friday, March 22.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, pled guilty to four counts of indecent assault to two boys in Ireland in the 1970s at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in Ireland earlier this month. Judge Margaret Heneghan sentenced McCabe to 18 months in prison on Friday with his sentence backdated to when he first went into custody in Ireland in June 2011 following his extradition from Alameda.

Judge Heneghan said both assaults carried a maximum possible sentence of two years and this was "not a case where consecutive sentences were appropriate." Heneghan also cited Mc- Cabe's "guilty plea, his admission of guilt to gardai (Ireland's police officers), his remorse, his age and medical condition" for reasons to release him.

James Moran, one of the two victims McCabe was charged with assaulting, was present at the sentencing.

"The fact that current sentencing guidelines for historical abuse, pre early '80s, is such that the guilty party can only be given a two-year sentence because that was the maximum at the time of the offense, seems slightly antiquated," wrote Moran in his blog 37yearwait. "The current maximum sentence for this crime is 10 years."

McCabe pled guilty to assaulting Moran, now 50, at a boarding school from January to April 1977, as well as a second victim, a male who has chosen to remain anonymous, at the parochial house of the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin from January to September 1979. Both men were 13 at the time of their assaults. Irish authorities originally accused McCabe of molesting six boys from 1973 to 1981.

McCabe served as a priest in the Dublin Archdiocese, a stint that lasted from 1961 to 1983 when he was transferred to St. Bernard's Parish in Eureka after molestation allegations arose. McCabe later quit the priesthood in 1987 amid allegations that he molested four boys while serving at the Diocese of Santa Rosa in Humboldt County between 1985 and 1987.

McCabe then moved to Alameda where he worked as an administrator at Water's Edge Lodge. He lived on Walnut Street. Interpol discovered McCabe was living in Alameda in 2007 and extradited him back to Ireland in 2011.

Contact Ekene Ikeme at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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