Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug 19

For more information: Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, [email protected]

Irish Catholic priest’s victim reports to police

Now living in Chicago, she wants predator priest prosecuted

Support group releases offender’s admission/apology

A Catholic woman who was sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest of the Discalced Carmelite Order in Ireland is taking action to have him criminally prosecuted. The woman is releasing a letter from the priest admitting his offense, according to a US-based support group for clergy sex abuse victims.

The victim, Dr. Rosemary McHugh, MD (630 484 0777) is sending her report to the Sexual Crimes Management Unit for Criminal Investigations in Dublin, Ireland.

Fr. Desmond McCaffrey is under a criminal investigation. Dr. McHugh is seeking to have Fr. D. McCaffrey charged with sexually assaulting her when she was 30 years old and lived in Dublin around 1974-75. Dr. McHugh is a physician who now lives in the Chicago IL area of the US.

Fr. D. McCaffrey had met Dr. McHugh in a confessional at St. Teresa’s Church on Clarendon Street in Dublin. He invited her to a prayer service at a convent across town. After the prayer service Fr. D. McCaffrey asked Dr. McHugh for a lift back to St Teresa’s, and Dr. McHugh gave him the ride.

On the way, she had to go by her own flat and Fr. D. McCaffrey said he would like to see her flat and have a cup of tea before he went home.

After making tea, Dr. McHugh turned towards Fr. D. McCaffrey and was stunned to see him standing in front of her with his pants down and masturbating into his handkerchief. Dr. McHugh was shocked and shaken and said nothing. Fr. D. McCaffrey sat down on the couch and continued the masturbating. Eventually, Dr. McHugh says, the priest pulled up his pants and Dr. McHugh drove him home in silence. Fr. D. McCaffrey did not apologize and acted as though nothing wrong had occurred.

About a week later, Fr. D. McCaffrey phoned Dr. McHugh. She told him that she did not wish to see him again. He still did not apologize.

In May 2010, when Dr. McHugh was in Ireland, she contacted Dr. Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, to report the sexual assault to him. Dr. Martin then met with the Provincial of the Discalced Carmelite Order, who contacted Dr McHugh and an investigation was started by a female appointee of the Carmelite Order.

The appointee read Dr. McHugh’s complaint to Fr. D McCaffrey, who did admit to the incident and that he had taken down his pants and masturbated into his handkerchief in front of Dr. McHugh.

The appointee sent a letter to Dr. McHugh which stated that Fr. D. McCaffrey acted inappropriately during her reading of the complaint to him, because he was smiling while he was apologizing for his sexual misconduct.

Later, Fr. D. McCaffrey wrote out and signed a statement, admitting to his misdeeds.

This month of August, 2010, the Dublin Detective Inspector from the Sexual Crimes Management Unit contacted Dr. McHugh and asked that she forward the documents to them. Dr. McHugh is cooperating with the criminal investigation of Fr. D. McCaffrey.

The documents being sent to the police are attached.

"We applaud Rosemary for her courage and her compassion. Because of her brave actions, this predator will be further exposed and hopefully jailed which will stop him from hurting anyone else," said Barbara Blaine of SNAP. "We hope her responsible behavior will inspire others who are suffering in shame and self blame to come forward, get help, call police and start healing."

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director, 314 566 9790, [email protected]
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 862 7688, [email protected]

Police Report
Fr. D. McCaffrey's Admission
Carmelite officer

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests