Catholic priest in Glasgow convicted of sexual abuse is spared jail

The Irish Post [London, England]

March 5, 2023

By Gerard Donaghy

A priest convicted of sexually abusing four girls in Scotland has been spared jail.

Father Neil McGarrity, 58, was found guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court in January of four sexual assaults and one charge of engaging in sexual activity.

On Friday, he was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and put under supervision for three years.

Fr McGarrity was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and subject to a curfew between 7pm and 7am for nine months.

BBC News reports that the charges relate to the period from December 2017 to February 2020 and occurred at two churches in Glasgow and his parish home.

The victims were aged between 10 and 16 at the time and the incidents involved touching of a sexual nature.

Some of the incidents reported by the victims included being repeated hugged by Fr McGarrity, as well as the priest touching one victim’s hair and face and playing footsie with another,

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow, which has suspended Fr McGarrity, once again apologised to his victims.