Priest charged in Fermanagh court with sexual assault

RTÉ - Raidió Teilifís Éireann [Dublin, Ireland]

July 31, 2023

By Conor Macauley

A Catholic priest has appeared in court in Enniskillen on sex abuse charges.

Canon Patrick McEntee, 69, with an address at Esker Road, Dromore, Co Tyrone, is accused of sexual assaulting two males on separate dates in the late 1980s and 1990s.

He spoke only briefly during the short court appearance to confirm that he understood the charges.

A detective constable told the court she believed she could connect him to the charges.

A prosecutor told the court the file was at an early stage.

The accused was released on his own bail of £500 and ordered to reside at an address provided to court.

He was also told not to have any contact with either complainant, either directly or indirectly, or with any person under the age of 16.

Canon McEntee is a former president of St Michael’s College in Enniskillen, where he was a long-standing staff member.

Most recently he was parish priest of Dromore for more than 20 years.

He took a leave of absence from that role in March while, what was described as a “safeguarding issue”, was addressed.

In a statement issued last week Clogher Diocese said Canon McEntee was on leave from ministry while the issue was addressed.

It said that would continue until “all due processes” had been concluded.