Priest to be returned to Crown Court later this year

Impartial Reporter [Enniskillen, Northern Ireland]

January 7, 2024

A PRIEST and former President of St. Michael’s College, Enniskillen, accused of indecent assault, is due to be returned to the Crown Court later this year.

Canon Patrick McEntee (69), from Esker Road, Dromore, is char ged with indecently assaulting a complainant between 1980 and 1981.

He is further alleged to have twice indecently assaulted a second complainant on dates between 1988 and 1989.

On his first appearance in Enniskillen Magistrates Court in July, 2023, Canon McEntee spoke only to confirm his identity and that he understood the charges against him.

No details surrounding the circumstances of the alleged offences were disclosed during the short hearing, although it is understood they relate to Canon McEntee’s time in County Fermanagh.

Originally from Monaghan, Canon McEntee joined the staff of St. Michael’s College, Enniskillen in 1997, teaching Religious Studies, and sitting on the Board of Governors.

He was also College President between 1994 and 2000, moving on to take up the post of parish priest at St. Davog’s Church in Dromore, County Tyrone in 2001, where he has remained until his recent leave of absence.

Previously the Diocese of Clogher confirmed: “Canon Patrick McEntee PP, Dromore, County Tyrone, has asked for a period of leave to allow a safeguarding matter to be addressed.

“The Diocese of Clogher has robust safeguarding policies and practices in place … [and] takes seriously all allegations, suspicions or concerns of abuse.”

When asked of the current status given the charges now faced, a spokesperson replied: “Canon Patrick McEntee is on leave while a safeguarding matter is dealt with, and will continue to be on leave from ministry until all due processes have been completed.”