February 23, 2005

Bishop has no regrets in sex abuse row

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett
sbrett@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

23 February 2005
The Bishop of Derry, Seamus Hegarty, has said he does not regret allowing a priest at the centre of sexual assault allegations to become a sex abuse counsellor.

Last October, Fr Andrew McCloskey paid 19,000 out of court to a man who accused him of getting into bed with him and making a sexual advance at Creggan parochial house over a decade ago.

He has never admitted liability and has been on a leave of absence from the parish of Dungiven since the controversy arose.

The alleged victim, who spoke on BBC's Spotlight programme for the first time last night, said he felt "betrayed" by the church.

Although the then Auxiliary Bishop, Francis Lagan, met with the man, neither police nor social services were involved.

Posted by kshaw at February 23, 2005 08:07 PM