October 31, 2005

Bishop names latest priest in sex scandal

Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett

31 October 2005
A Desertmartin parish priest was today named by a bishop as the clergyman who has left his post as police investigate an accusation of sex abuse.

In a statement to the parishioners of Desertmartin, Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty confirmed that Father Pat Crilly has left his post while he is under investigation. Fr Crilly denies the allegation.

Ordained in 1968, Fr Crilly has served much of his career in the Derry diocese.

In a statement read out at Masses yesterday, and faxed to the media, Bishop Hegarty said: "As Fr Crilly himself told you on Wednesday evening an allegation has been made against him which is being investigated by the police.

"He denies the allegation, but has asked to be allowed leave of absence from ministry and I have agreed to this request," the bishop's statement read.

"At this moment I can easily understand your pain and your concern. Having spoken to Fr Crilly I know that he is deeply appreciative of your support and your prayers.

"In the present circumstances Fr Crilly will not be available for ministry. I shall make provision for a temporary replacement for him."

Posted by kshaw at October 31, 2005 05:41 PM