BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
June 25 2020
A Newry-based priest has been reinstated to his role after being cleared of an historical abuse allegation.
Canon Francis Brown voluntarily stepped aside from his role as administrator of Newry Cathedral in May 2018 after a safeguarding allegation was made against him which dated back to 1984.
He strongly denied any wrongdoing at the time and agreed to cooperate with a police investigation.
At the time, the Diocese of Dromore was at the centre of a scandal over its handling of abuse claims made against paedophile priest Malachy Finnegan.
In August last year, the Public Prosecution Service said they were dropping the case against Canon Brown after a “thorough and robust investigation”.
An internal church probe has since concluded the claims were “unsubstantiated”.
Canon Brown’s immediate return was announced yesterday during evening mass in Newry Cathedral by the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin.
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