Irish Judge Denies Extradition for Accused Priest

Associated Press, carried in [Tempe AZ]
July 28, 2005

TEMPE- An Irish judge has refused to order extradition for a former Arizona priest accused of molesting an altar boy in 1978.

Judge Phillip O'Sullivan of Ireland's High Court decided not to extradite the Rev. Patrick Colleary because the accusations date back so many years and because Arizona law allows judges to withhold bail for accused sex offenders, according to a written judgment.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said he was extremely disappointed in the decision. But he will not dismiss the charges unless there is some fundamental change in the case.

Colleary moved to Ireland in early 2003 before a grand jury indicted him on charges he abused a 10- or 11-year-old parishioner at Church of the Holy Spirit in Tempe.

He was one of eight priests indicted after a yearlong investigation into sexual misconduct in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.