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Choirmaster to get job back

Sydney's Catholic Archdiocese has been ordered to reinstate the choirmaster sacked from St Mary's Cathedral who became embroiled in allegations of negligence over a 20-year-old sex abuse case.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that David Russell, who was sacked on the orders of Sydney's Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, in January 2003, was vindicated yesterday by the Industrial Relations Commission. Mr Russell had been accused of witnessing an act of child abuse at his Stanmore home.

The commission's deputy president, Rod Harrison, said Mr Russell's sacking had been "harsh, unreasonable and unjust".

The Dean of St Mary's, Monsignor Tony Doherty, who sacked Mr Russell in January 2003, defended his actions at the time.

He said he was acting on the findings of an independent investigation into allegations of sex abuse by the convicted pedophile David O'Grady, a former church sacristan and psychiatric nurse.

One of two schoolboy victims had alleged that Mr Russell walked in while the abuse was taking place. The commission found yesterday there was no evidence to support witness X's claim that Mr Russell had witnessed the abuse.

Choirmaster to get job back (Sydney Morning Herald 2/6/04)


Cathedral Dean defends basis for sacking choirmaster (CathNews 20/8/03)
Choirmaster denies deceiving inquiry (30/7/03)
Choirmaster denies letting pedophile abuse boy (Sydney Morning Herald)
Choirmaster denies claims (Courier Mail)
Pedophile victim speaks out against sacked choirmaster (7/3/03)
Choirboy says abuse was watched (The Age)
Sydney Church sued over St Mary's choirmaster allegations (3/3/03)
Sacked Sydney choirmaster claims Archbishop was hijacked (10/2/03)
Parents back sacked choirmaster (Daily Telegraph)
Archbishop was hijacked, claims sacked choirmaster (Sydney Morning Herald)
Cathedral music director dismissed after 'extensive inquiry': church (ABC)
Statement of David Russell (9/2/03)
Pedophile victim to sue church over abuse in home of sacked choirmaster (Sydney Morning Herald 8/2/03)
Anger over sacking of Sydney Cathedral stalwart (6/2/03)
Archdiocese of Sydney | St Mary's Cathedral

2 Jun 2004