Ex-priest sentenced for abuse in Ireland

SFGATE: A former Roman Catholic priest who worked in Sonoma County, Eureka and Sacramento in the 1980s before settling down in Alameda was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for sexually assaulting two boys decades ago in his native Ireland.

Patrick McCabe, 77, was living in an Alameda condominium when he surrendered in 2010 to U.S. authorities, who then sought his extradition to Ireland.

One of his victims, James Moran, who is now 50 and chose to be identified publicly, wrote in a statement to Irish authorities that McCabe “changed the path of my life forever,” and that his life “had been blighted” by the molestation.

“Today my voice is being heard after a long and painful journey, and I am going to use today as a springboard for change,” McCabe wrote.

A 2009 report sponsored by the Irish government on the Dublin Archdiocese’s handling of sexual abuse said Catholic officials had moved McCabe to the United States in 1982 after they became aware of complaints of abuse by young boys.

“This case encapsulates everything that was wrong with the archdiocesan handling of child sexual abuse cases,” the report concluded.

Records show McCabe – who had denied the charges of sexual assault to Irish police – ran St. Bernard Catholic Parish in Eureka until he was removed in 1985, then was a member of the clergy at St. Elizabeth Church in Guerneville in 1986.

He briefly worked in the Diocese of Sacramento, but was forced to resign in early 1987 after officials there learned he had been the subject of complaints in Ireland.