Priest accused of sex assault against children in Glasgow

BBC [London, England]

August 4, 2022

A priest is accused of sexual conduct towards four girls at two churches in Glasgow.

Neil McGarrity, 68, is said to have assaulted the children between December 2017 and February 2020.

Court papers state the incidents happened at St Thomas’ church in Riddrie and St Bernadette’s church in Carntyne.

Fr McGarrity denied six charges at Glasgow Sheriff Court. He will stand trial later this month.

He is alleged to have engaged in sexual activity with a girl between the age of 13 and 15 at St Thomas’.

The charge states that he touched the girl on the body.

A second girl was alleged to have been sexually assaulted at the Riddrie church between the ages of 10 and 11.

It is claimed Fr McGarrity repeatedly placed his arm around her, touched her on the body, hugged and pulled her towards him.

A separate charge for the same girl states the priest hugged her and stroked her on the arm at the church.

A third girl aged between 15 and 16 is said to have been sexually assaulted by Fr McGarrity at St Thomas’.

The charge alleges that Fr McGarrity placed his arm around her.

It is said that on a separate occasion he approached her from behind before placing his hands on her waist.

A fourth girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by Fr McGarrity at St Bernadette’s.

She is stated to have been 10 and 13 when the priest is accused of repeatedly touching her on the body, repeatedly hugging her, playing with her hair and touching her face.

A separate charge claims Fr McGarrity behaved in a threatening or abusive manner towards the same girl and another girl.

It is stated that Fr McGarrity made contact with her on social media, uttered a sexual remark to the other girl “while in the execution of your employment as a parish priest”.

Fr McGarrity is on bail ahead of the trial later this month.