Legal proceedings have begun against an Irish missionary priest alleged to have abused an African student at a Spiritan-run school in Sierra Leone.
Elvis Kuteh alleges the priest abused him in the
late 1970s when he was a pupil of a school run by the Holy Ghost
Fathers, now the Spiritans.
Mr Kuteh, who is in his 40s, now lives
in the UK. His solicitor, Michael E Hanahoe and Co, has 12 months in
which to serve the summons on the defendant.
If the case proceeds,
this will be the first time an African will have abuse allegations
against an Irish missionary priest heard in Ireland.
campaigner Mark Vincent Healy, who is supporting Mr Kuteh’s case, said
the case was being brought under the Brussels Convention.
both the plaintiff and the defendant are resident within the EU, the
action can be taken within the EU under the Brussels Convention, for
actions that actually took place outside the EU,” he said.
Healy, who was abused himself as a pupil at St Mary’s College,
Rathmines, Dublin, by a Spiritans priest, said Mr Kuteh’s case could
“open up a path to justice” for survivors abused by Irish priests in
He said that while in the past those abused
in Africa had “no opportunity for either justice or redress”, the case
“could open up redress against all missionaries worldwide”.
A Spiritans spokesman said they could not comment on specific legal proceedings.