Bryan Michael McKay
NZ Herald story 16th January 1999
A Catholic religious order has paid out tens of thousands of dollars to two victims of a paedophile brother in the Church's largest compensation payout to sex abuse victims. Sums of $30,000 and $20,000 were paid to the pair who were molested by Brother Bryan McKay, principal of the now-closed Marist Intermediate School in Hamilton from 1978 to 1980. It is understood to be the first time the Church in New Zealand has faced a claim from more than one victim of a man of the cloth. Catholic hierarchy in Australia and America have been forced to pay millions of dollars in settling claims for similar sex crimes. The $50,000 was handed over as an "ex-gratia" payment, with no admission of legal liability by the Marist Brothers, nor the bishops under whom McKay served.
The 51-year-old completed seven months of a 21-month jail sentence for indecent assaults on seven young pupils that took place 20 years ago. Following his sentencing, in February 1997, three of the victims sought civil retribution, though one later dropped his case. Last month, the two men agreed to the settlement, and received an apology from the order. But one of the men told the New Zealand Herald that he was still waiting for a personal apology from McKay, who returned to the Marist Brothers when he was released from prison. "As far as I'm concerned, it hasn't finished for me," said the man, now aged 30. "I'm still bitter about the whole thing." The order's apology, issued in October last year, records the "shame that one whose duty it was to represent the Church ... could carry out such abuse."
"Any such breaking of the trust placed in him ... was a serious breach of all that the Church, teachers, and we ourselves stand for," said the letter, signed by the order's provincial leader, Brother Barry Burns. "We brothers also express the hope that this letter, and the ex-gratia assistance we have offered to you, may help you to begin to put behind you your anxieties arising from the past and your fears for the future, as far as that is possible." The national director of Catholic Communications, Lyndsay Freer, yesterday refused to confirm that any payments had been made, citing a confidentiality clause. In 1997, the victim of a Catholic priest who committed indecencies was paid $5000 for counselling. Meanwhile, McKay remains a member of the order, though he is no longer in a teaching role. According to the conditions of his parole, he was to be under the supervision of another brother.
Brother Bryan McKay
Date of Birth
Indecent assault of 7 male pupils at Marist Intermediate School aged 11-14 in Hamilton while he was the principal between 1978 and 1980
At large in Mangere Bridge, Auckland
Sentenced to 1 year 9 months in February 1997
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