'After a little while he called the other boy over. Did the same to him. I heard everything. Father Smyth was a priest, a good man. But I knew that some rule had been broken.' Brendan was an eleven-year-old altar boy when he first met Father Smyth. When the abuse began, he didn't know what to do - surely he should trust a priest? But he knew he wasn't the only victim, and his worst nightmare was that his sisters would be next. It was three years before he plucked up the courage to tell another priest. An inquiry was quickly called, in which Brendan was sworn to secrecy. But the abuse didn't stop. Instead, Father Smyth continued to prey on other children for two more decades until he was finally convicted, in the 1990s, of over 130 counts of child sexual abuse. This shocking memoir tells how, for years, a priest's abuse was ignored by the Catholic Church - and how one brave small boy stood up for justice.
One boy who bravely speaks up. A church determined to keep him silent.
Brendan Boland was born in 1961 into a strong Catholic family. In 1975, at the age of 14, Brendan was involved in a secret canonical inquiry where he first told priests that he was being sexually abused by Father Brendan Smyth. He married his childhood sweetheart Martina in 1983 and later moved to England in search of work. He's been working as an engineer at News International since 1991, where he is still employed today. Brendan lives in Essex, England. Darragh MacIntyre is an award-winning investigative reporter with BBC Panorama, and the author ofConversations: Snapshots of Modern Irish Life. He was the reporter of the BAFTA winning BBC programme, The Shame of Catholic Church, broadcast in May 2012. Originally from Celbridge, County Kildare, Darragh lives in Belfast.