A priest in the Republic of Ireland gave a girl penance after abusing her in a confessional room, a jury has heard.
Father Maeliosa O Hauallachain, 72, of Seafield Road, Killiney, County Dublin, pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault on dates between July 31, 1981, and August 2, 1982, when the complainant was between 13 and 14 years old.
The Louth woman, who is now 42, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that the priest abused her and told her not to tell anyone.
She told the court she started drinking heavily by the time she was 15 and would self harm and bathe herself in Savlon (an antiseptic cream).
"I felt terrible, dirty; felt there was a smell off my body. My behaviour deteriorated somewhat. I knew it was wrong," she said.
The woman told of how Fr O Hauallachain was manipulating her and how he had power over her.
"I was afraid of him. I felt if I broke my silence, God would harm me," the complainant said.
She said the first assault happened before she went to Fr O Hauallachain to say her confession.
She knelt down beside a screen and had just said "bless me Father, for I have sinned" when Fr O Hauallachain "popped his head around and said 'Ah, it's yourself'."
He then took her around the other side of the screen and sat her on his knee. She continued to discuss some issues she was having before he put his arm around her and kissed her on the lips.
She said Fr O Hauallachain then got up and locked the door of the confession room.
He started to touch her breasts and kissed her on the lips. "He put my hand into the pocket of his habit and made me play with his penis.
"He then told me to say 10 Hail Marys for my penance and not to tell anyone what happened," the woman told the jury.
"Like a fool, I went out and said the Hail Marys. I felt so bad and ashamed of what had just happened in the house of God," she continued.
She said that the abuse continued when Fr O Hauallachain would "persuade" her into a room in the priory and touch her inside her underwear.
She said he would kiss her using his tongue and make her masturbate him. She said the same type of abuse would happen in this room in the priory most Sundays and sometimes as she was passing on her way home, up until the age of 15.
The complainant described how, on some occasions, O Hauallachain was not wearing any underwear under his robes.
The trial continues.
Source: Irish IndependentReuse content