Former North Coast priest sent to Irish prison in molestation cases

ALAMEDA -- A former Catholic priest who worked in the Santa Rosa Diocese has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in his native Ireland for molesting two boys more than 30 years ago.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, who fought his extradition from the Bay Area, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

McCabe also received an 18-month sentence at the court last year for abusing boys.

The former priest was working as an administrator at an Alameda nursing home when Interpol located him in 2007. He was extradited in 2011.

One of his victims, James Moran, now 50, said McCabe "changed the path of my life forever" in a statement he prepared for Irish authorities as part of the prosecution.

"For me, it was a turning point; initially I was shocked, confused and nervous," said Moran, who waived his right to anonymity following Friday's sentencing. "I didn't know who to trust. I couldn't concentrate on anything."

McCabe targeted Moran in 1976 at an Irish boarding school after he saw his photo while visiting Moran's family and thought the youth attractive.

Another boy was abused in the parochial house of the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin, according to investigators.

"We are glad that Fr. Patrick McCabe has received prison time for abusing two 13-year-old boys in the 1970s," said Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. "We are especially grateful that McCabe was not let off the hook because of his advanced age. Children are always safer when predators are behind bars, whether that predator is 20 or 80."

According to a 2009 Irish government report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, officials in the Dublin Archdiocese moved priests such as McCabe to the United States and other locations after they became aware of complaints against them.

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