January 24, 2005

Bishop defends sex priest decision

Belfast Telegraph

By Brian Hutton

24 January 2005
The Bishop of Derry, Seamus Hegarty, today defended his decision to allow a priest at the centre of sexual assault allegations to continue in the ministry.

Father Andy McCloskey has taken leave of absence after a public confession at the weekend to his Dungiven parishioners that he made a five-figure settlement to a man who accused him of a sexual advance.

The out-of-court settlement to an 18-year-old man who in 1992 was attending a parochial house for counselling for sex abuse, was made last October, without any admission of liability.

"Since becoming aware of the complaint against the priest, the diocese has had ongoing concern for the person who made the complaint," Bishop Hegarty said.

The bishop revealed that Fr McCloskey had attended residential care in 1992, for his alcohol addiction "and the problems this brought".

Posted by kshaw at January 24, 2005 06:19 AM