Monday, February 27, 2012

RTS award for UTV documentary

RTS award for UTV documentaryUTV has won a prestigious Royal Television Society award for a documentary on paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Reporter Chris Moore, executive producer Paul Clarke and camera operator Drew Welsh were in London to pick up the award on Wednesday night.

'The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth' was aired on UTV in December 2010.

It followed the trail of broken lives left behind by the sex predator who raped and assaulted children in Ireland, Britain and America as the Catholic Church covered up his crimes.

Journalist Chris Moore, who broke the Brendan Smyth child sex abuse story in a UTV documentary in 1994, believes many children were abused by the paedophile priest after allegations first emerged in the 1970s.

His documentary in 1994 revealed Smyth's history of serial child sex abuse and how the church admitted it had known about it and had moved him around, where he was able to continue to abuse other children.

In a new investigation, he heard from some of the victims Fr Smyth abused in America.

One abuse survivor said: "He said that he had one more test he wanted to give me; that God wanted him to administer one more test for me. It was there that he sodomised me."

The documentary also heard from a former priest, who was sent by his superiors into five locations where scandals had involved paedophile priests.

"His job was to go in there and to clean up the mess, to move the priest on, to make sure that the information about the scandal was not made public," the journalist explained at the time.

"He took that for five assignments, he said it was like working for the mob and he decided to leave. He now works for survivors of sexual abuse."

The Father Brendan Smyth case rocked the church and the Irish Government - which collapsed in 1994 over delays in granting his extradition to Northern Ireland to face sex abuse charges.

Father Smyth was later jailed and died, aged 70, in August 1997, a month into his 12-year prison sentence.

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