Former Donegal priest pleads guilty to abusing girls

July 13, 2021

A former priest has pleaded guilty to two counts of abuse of young girls in the 1970s.

The man, who is now aged 86 years, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal.

The court was told that both offences occurred in Donegal in both 1971 and 1972.

The first incident happened at a parochial house where the priest was based and the second took place at another location in the same area.

The elderly man, who wore a grey anorak and black trousers, spoke only to say ‘guilty’ when the charges were put to him.

No details of the indecent assaults were given.

Judge John Aylmer ordered that the identity of the victims or the accused not be disclosed in the case.

The man’s barrister, Mr Colm Smyth SC, said a strange feature of the case was that the accused man had made admissions to the case as far back as 2002 when Gardai were investigating the incidents.

He added that he has already served time in prison for separate incidents and was anxious to expedite these matters.

The court was told that victim impact statements were awaited in the case.

Judge John Aylmer was told that these statements could be furnished to the court shortly.

He adjourned the case for sentencing to July 23rd next.

The accused was released on his own continuing bail and was granted free legal aid.