February 08, 2005

Parishioners back priest in abuse row

Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett

08 February 2005
Over 2,000 parishioners in the Dungiven area have signed a petition of support for a priest accused of sexually assaulting a teenage male.

During Sunday masses in Dungiven, Gortnahey and Drumsurn, more than 2,000 backed Father Andrew McCloskey, who remains the curate of Dungiven parish despite an allegation that he sexually assaulted an 18-year-old in 1992.

The Catholic Church came under fire for allowing the priest to continue parochial duties, including working with a group offering counselling to abuse victims.

Fr McCloskey admitted to parishioners two weeks ago that he was the man involved in media reports that a priest paid out a five-figure settlement to a man accusing him of sexual assault.

The out-of-court settlement was made without any admissions of guilt.

Posted by kshaw at February 8, 2005 06:49 AM