Fr. Colleary Fights Extradition Again

KPHO [Arizona]
Downloaded May 12, 2005

We have new information about the efforts to bring a fugitive priest back to the valley to face trial.. It involves Father Patrick Colleary, a catholic priest accused of sexual conduct with a minor. Colleary is in Ireland now fighting extradition and, according to this letter from the irish court, obtained by the 5-I Team just this afternoon.. The accused priest may not be headed back any time soon.

Father Patrick Colleary was released from jail back in 2003. Shortly after that, Colleary returned to his home in ireland. The 5-I Team tracked him down to the family farm where his brother told us the family had concerns about the way the priest would be treated here in Arizona.

The letter from the Chief State Solicitor in Dublin echoes those concerns. It says Colleary is asking for a "permanent prohibition on extradition...due to alleged cruel, inhuman, and unconstitutional particular in Maricopa County." The chief solicitor brings up Sheriff Joe Arpaio's policy of making inmates wear pink underwear. And it criticizes the recent transfer of inmates from the old Madison Street Jail to the new jail. During that transfer the inmates were kept in their underwear in the streets of downtown Phoenix. This apparently was played up in the Irish media.

Colleary is charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor but before the Irish court agrees to send him back to the U.S., it wants its concerns about the Maricopa County jail and the sheriff's treatment of inmates addressed. In order to ease those concerns: the Maricopa County Attorney's office issued this letter in response. It says: the county attorney had no prior warning about the nature of the inmate transfer. It reaffirms the Colleary case remains a high priority. And in order to avoid concerns about Colleary's treatment in the jail, it brings up the possibility of housing the priest in federal custody while awaiting trial.