A detective in Australia was forced out of his job and denied his pension by officials at the police department after he tried to bring a pedophile priest to justice. He lived a meager life for some time after that… but all that has finally changed.
Denis Ryan received a confidential settlement amount from the state government of Victoria after advocates spread his story. It only came nearly five decades after his bosses, who happened to be devout Catholics, punished him for trying to prosecute a priest.
Ryan had attempted to bring down Monsignor John Day, who sexually abused children for years thanks to Church cover-ups. Day also had close connections to those on the police force in Victoria, according to the Washington Post.
Ryan had interviewed 12 alleged victims by 1972, taking statements from all of them.
But Ryan’s superiors — devout Catholics, some of whom were close to Day — didn’t want to hear it, according to a 2017 report.
The superintendent of police told Ryan to drop the investigation, the report said. A top inspector recommended no charges be filed…
Ryan resigned, effectively forced out of his job because he wouldn’t stop investigating, the report said. He lost his pension and his benefits, as well as his pay, and became a fruit packer.
He was punished far worse than the priest, who was ultimately transferred to a different parish outside of Victoria. That priest is now dead, but Ryan is alive and well at 86 years old.
If I were him, I might consider any compensation at this point to be too little, too late. But he seemed genuinely happy about the settlement.
“When I heard the news, I nearly jumped out of my socks,” he said…
On Monday, Mr Ryan said: “I was delighted, extremely pleased, and thought [waiting] 45 years is enough.
“But I’d give it all back if the people who are the adults now — these children who were molested by these priests — didn’t have to go through what they did.
“It has lived with me forever. It is a burden and I will never forget it.”
A true hero to the end, Ryan continues to tell people that the children who were abused suffered much more than he did, despite losing his career. They will never get true justice since Day is gone, but this is a step in the right direction because it acknowledges both the priest’s wrongdoings as well as those of the cops who shut down the investigation.
I hope Ryan enjoys the remainder of his life comfortably. Thanks to this compensation, that may finally happen.
(Screenshot via Sydney Morning Herald)