Ex-trainee priest to meet gardaí over Maynooth sex abuse claims

Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald

A former trainee priest who alleges he was harassed by a member of staff while studying at the national seminary in Maynooth is to meet members of the Garda sexual assault unit over the coming days to file a formal complaint against the priest.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous for now, told the Irish Independent that the priest concerned was meant to be his “spiritual father” who would help him to “discern if God was calling” him to serve in the priesthood, and also to “act as a support and guide in living a chaste and celibate life”.

Instead, he alleges that the priest placed his hand on him inappropriately on a number of occasions, and that he asked him very intimate questions concerning his sexuality during meetings. This, he said, was not part of the priest’s remit.

He also told salacious jokes during the meetings.

“I am now, thank God, a happily married man. My faith was severely shaken after my experience in Maynooth, and I suffered from severe depression for a long time,” he recounted.

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