The charges were lodged against Father Patrick McCabe in 1988, but the gardai didn't know where he was and they couldn't call him in for an interview and there you have it.
Between 1973 through 1981, he was a priest in Dublin. Six men came forward in 1988 to say that they were abused by McCabe. By that time, McCabe was ministering to Californians. What are the chances that the diocese moved him out, as they did with so many other pedophile priests?
The first allegation came up in 1987, at which time you'd think the Catholic Church would have been able to tell An Garda Siochana where one of its clergymen was residing. They must have been able to locate McCabe, as he left the priesthood in 1988 and it's all a bit too coincidental to be blind luck.
It took Interpol until 2003 to trace the ex-priest to the San Francisco area. It took gardai another four years to arrange an overseas trip, but they did finally speak to him. The next thing anyone knew, there were warrants issued for his arrest.
Easy enough to avoid being incarcerated by avoiding trips to Ireland. Once Irish authorities figured that out three years on, they requested his extradition.
Mr. McCabe's lawyers have painted their client as a frail, elderly man of 74 who's had no brush with American law and couldn't everyone just leave him alone to live out his golden years in peace?
Should the American judge not buy the sympathy ploy, which plays well in Ireland but not so well in the States, they'd like to point out that there's really not any such law in America that's quite like the Irish law regarding indecent assault, so he can't be extradited.
Child molestation by a priest is pretty much understood across national borders. What one nation chooses to call the offense doesn't make it any less an offense, and it's a crime wherever it occurs.
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Even if the time comes when you're old and comfortable and don't much want to go to prison back home where pedophile priests aren't particularly popular.