Canon Patrick McEntee to stand trial on historical sexual assault charges

BBC [London, England]

March 12, 2024

A County Tyrone priest is to stand trial on historical indecent assault charges against two males.

Canon Patrick McEntee, 69, from Esker Road, Dromore, faces a total of of five counts of indecent assault dating back to the 1980s.

The priest pleaded not guilty to each charge at Dungannon Crown Court.

Canon McEntee is a former teacher, governor and college president at St Michael’s College in Enniskillen.

He has been on a leave of absence from his ministry since last year.

Bail conditions

Canon McEntee is charged with four counts of indecent assault on one male between 1988 and 1989.

There is also a single count of indecently assaulting a second male between 1980 and 1981.

No details surrounding the circumstances of the alleged offences were disclosed during the short hearing on Tuesday.

Judge Fiona Bagnall remanded Canon McEntee on continuing bail until his trial in September.

As part of bail conditions Canon McEntee is to reside at his current address and is also banned from all contact with the complainants and any person aged under 16.

Taught religious studies

Originally from County Monaghan, Canon McEntee taught religious studies at St Michael’s and was college president from 1994 until 2000.

He has been a priest for more than 45 years and has been the parish priest of St Davog’s in Dromore since 2001.

In March of 2023, the Diocese of Clogher announced he had been granted a leave of absence while an alleged safeguarding issue was investigated.