GRIM details of the heinous crimes committed by paedophile priest Fr Eugene Greene will be revealed in a TG4 documentary to be aired tonight.
The programme, part of the series ‘Finne’, will hear retired Garda Sergeant Martin Ridge revisit the investigation that led to Greene’s downfall and imprisonment.
A former priest who served in parishes across Donegal, Eugene Greene died in Cork last November at the age of 91. He had worked with the Kiltegan Fathers in Nigeria before returning to Ireland in 1965 when he was appointed as a curate in Gweedore. Afterwards he served in Killybegs, Lettermacaward, Gorthahork, Glenties, Kilmacrennan and Annagry.
He was jailed for 12 years at Donegal Circuit Court in 2000 after pleading guilty to 41 sample charges of sexual assault against 26 children between 1965 and 1982.
In tonight’s documentary however, Martin Ridge will reveal how Greene’s web of crimes spanned far beyond what was he convicted of.
He has told TG4 of a paedophile ring that was operating in Donegal at the time and how the disgraced cleric, along with a man called Denis McGinley and a third paedophile, abused dozens of young victims.
“Between the three of them there were 45 victims – that’s four soccer teams,” says Martin Ridge.
Revealing murky parts of the investigation that have never been broadcast, the former Garda officer tells TG4, “There were boys who had to hide their blood-stained underwear on the way home from school.
“What went on in that parish wouldn’t happen in the worst brothel in the world.
“I had worked all during the Troubles, dealing with provos and robbers, I had seen violence. But this shocked me on a level I had never experienced.”
Eugene Greene’s crimes only came to light when he himself approached gardai.
The cocky cleric went to his local station on December 20 1997 to make allegations that he was being blackmailed.
Martin Ridge says, “A straightforward blackmail case turned into something very different.
“It opened the whole can of worms.”