I SHOULD HAVE KILLED HIM

Royal commission into child sex abuse: ‘All I could think about was … killing Father Ryan. I didn’t do it. I should have.’

  • Joanne McCarthy

“During the service, all I could think about was running to my
mate’s parents’ place and grabbing the biggest two knives he had and
killing Father Ryan. I didn’t do it. I should have.
“The damage
that bastard’s done to my life, my family, my friends and to everybody
else. I feel guilty that I didn’t do it and he went on to abuse other
boys,” Gerard McDonald told the royal commission this week.

Francis Cable, also known as Brother Romuald, leaving Newcastle Court.
Francis Cable, also known as Brother Romuald, leaving Newcastle Court. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Four years after the Hunter region campaigned for a royal commission
following the suicide of child sex abuse victim John Pirona, public
hearings have taken place on how the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese
responded to child sexual abuse allegations about a notorious
paedophile priest and three Hunter Marist brothers.
McDonald was
giving evidence about Vince Ryan, who was convicted in 1995 for offences
against more than 30 young boys. Pirona was one of his victims, and his
death in July 2012 ā€“ and suicide note with the final words “Too much
pain” ā€“ became the final straw for the Hunter community.

In Newcastle Courthouse this week, two of Ryan’s victims, Scott
Hallett and McDonald, gave shocking evidence of Ryan giving them wine as
nine-year-old altar boys and urging them to have anal sex with each
other in front of other boys, and of the priest having oral sex with the
boys.
Both men told the Royal Commission into Institutional
Responses to Child Sexual Abuse they wanted to kill Ryan when he
appeared at their high school a few years later for a church service.

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