Newcastle a Dumping Ground for Ireland’s Priests

It has been revealed that the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle may have been a bit of a dumping ground for Ireland’s unwanted priests. Documents tendered to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry show that the paedophile priest Denis McAlinden was sent to Australia by his Redemptorist leader in Ireland. From the documents it seems McAlinden did not take well to ‘community life’ with his Irish brothers, was hard to get on with and had a bad temper. However in his first year in the Hunter as a parish priest, he repeatedly raped an 11 year old girl before going on to sexually abuse dozens more little girls. The NSW Inquiry begins hearing closing submissions today.

About Peter Kelso


I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.


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