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FURY AT FREEDOM FOR EVIL PRIEST: If I see Payne while driving, do I put my foot down & go for him..; THE VICTIMS.

The Mirror (London, England) 26 September 2002 Byline: NIALL MOONAN and JENNY FRIEL

A VICTIM of paedophile priest Fr Ivan Payne said yesterday: "If I saw him while I was out in my car I'd probably put the pedal down."

The man, in his 30s, suffered a catalogue of sex abuse at the hands of evil pervert Payne for more than three years during his time as an altar boy.

The victim spoke as a wave of outrage greeted news that Payne will be freed next month.

All day, radio and television stations carried the Irish Mirror's exclusive story about the release, which horrified victims of the sex offender

One of those who suffered Payne's abuse rang our offices yesterday after appearing on the Gerry Ryan Show.

The man, known only as Ciaran, said: "I'm just so grateful to you for writing that article - how would we have ever known about this otherwise?

"I've been in a state of shock all day, I couldn't go into work.

"I've had a s****y life because of this man and now he gets to walk free after serving just four years. I'm so angry that he's out. If I walk through town or drive through Dublin and happen to see him, what do I do?

"Do I put my foot to the floor and go for him?"

Ciaran was just 13 years old when Fr Payne moved into his parish and began his abuse.

He said: "I was already an altar boy when he got here and soon after he arrived he befriended me.

"He made me feel so special, he was a pillar of the society and, of course, I trusted him.

"He used to bring me out in car and he'd let me drive it down on Dollymount Strand - that's a great thrill for any young teenager.

"And he'd sometimes bring me to restaurants and films for a treat.

"He made a big fuss of me and in those days priests were on a pedestal and it was great that a priest befriended you.

"But at the end of every outing he'd bring me back to his place and we'd sit on the couch and watch TV together. That's when he would molest me. I can't remember the first time exactly because I've blocked a lot of it from my head.

"But I always knew it was wrong. I just didn't know what to do about it, I always figured no one would believe me if I told them.

"It went on for about three years and it happened about twice a month.

"Then when I hit 17 it all just stopped, I guess I was too old for him.

"I can't describe how badly it affected me. I've absolutely no confidence and I haven't been in a relationship for ages."

Ciaran said nobody warned him Fr Payne was due to be released.

He added: "I just heard it this morning, I wasn't told this, I have a right to be told. The Church failed me, the only people that helped me were the guards. The church are still failing people.

"I only told my family about a year-and-a-half ago and it was so difficult for them, that man had been a friend of many of their friends.

"I did go to the guards and tell them about it and it was an incredibly difficult experience but I was glad I did when he got convicted.

"I know of others who were abused by him and went to the guards but I know of a lot more who kept it to themselves.

"I knew this was all going to come out again but I thought it would be in two years time. I can't believe he's out already and, to be honest, I totally understand why the people of Celbridge are worried that he's going to live there - they should be."

Ciaran paid tribute to Andrew Madden, who went public to expose Payne's crimes.

He said: "As far as I'm concerned, Andrew is a wonderful person. Only for him going to the media I'd still be bottling this up, like so many others."

In yesterday's Irish Mirror we revealed how 58-year-old Payne, one of the country's worst paedophiles, will leave Kildare's Curragh prison after serving four years of a six-year sentence.

His sordid reign of terror lasted 18 years - and his victims were altar boys and sick children.

To add insult to injury, his new home will be yards from a girls' secondary school.

2FM's top-rating Gerry Ryan show devoted two hours to the scandal, receiving dozens of calls from victims and members of the public furious about the release.

Denise, another caller to the Gerry Ryan show, said she feared her brother - who died in 1978 - might also have been abused.

She said Payne was extremely friendly with the boy who spent a lot of time in hospital being treated for cystic fibrosis
She added: "I'd like to know if he was interfered with. I'd love to face Ivan Payne now. Every time I hear his name I start to boil up inside and just get angry."

Campaigner John Kelly, of the Survivors of Child Abuse group, said plans to release Payne without the knowledge of victims were "reprehensible.

And he demanded the sick priest be put straight on to the sex offenders' register.

Mr Kelly said: "The sentence certainly should have reflected the crime, it wasn't severe enough.

"The sudden shock of learning that these people are getting out brings back the whole trauma."


NEW HOME: Celbridge in Co Kildare, where Payne is going to live; HATE FIGURE: Abuser Fr Ivan Payne is to be set free early despite public fury; FEARS: Taximan David Byrne was shocked at news in yesterday's Mirror; PRAISED: Victim Andrew Madden,+do+I...-a092068893