Former priest described as “cold and calculating”

Fr Denis Nolan
Fr Denis Nolan

Former Rathnew priest Denis Nolan was sentenced to eight years in jail this week for the rape and sexual assault of a young boy.

The former priest has 20 previous convictions relating to sexual assault but refuses to admit his guilt.

He was described in court as “cold and calculating” he is already serving time for the abuse of another local boy.

The abuse of his victims first came to light in May of 2012.

The 64-year-old denied two counts of rape and four of sexually assaulting the boy in Co Wicklow between January 2005 and September 2006.

In sentencing Judge Patrick McCarthy said the accused engaged in a concentrated effort to groom his victim who was “a child of great innocence”.

The victim was aged 13 when the abuse began after Nolan offered him some work in his garden.

Knowing that the child, who had educational difficulties, had an interest in horticulture, Nolan offered him training in garden maintenance.

Nolan initially paid the boy €10 or €15 in general for his gardening, but increased the amount once the abuse began.

Nolan’s attacks on the boy grew increasingly bold and depraved and escalated from fondling to rape.

Some of the sexual assaults took place in the bedroom of the priest’s house, once in a car near the house and others in a presbytery.

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