Ulster Priest's 'Relationship' with Woman

By Deborah McAleese
Belfast Telegraph [Northern Ireland]
February 6, 2006

THIS is the Ulster priest who resigned after confessing to a sexual relationship with a woman.

Fr Des Knowles, former parish priest of Tullylish Parish in the Dromore Diocese, has admitted having an "adult" relationship with the woman, whom he first met in the early 1970's.

The 60-year-old resigned in October amid allegations that he had abused the woman when she was a teenager. He strongly denies this claim and says that their relationship only became an "adult relationship" when she became an adult.

It is not known where Fr Knowles is currently residing.

A spokesman for the diocese said: "I have no comment about where Fr Knowles is. I do not know. A full statement will be made within the next week. Fr Knowles denies the allegations of abuse. He retired from his post as he felt the claims made his position in the church untenable."

He added: "Canon Knowles accepts that a relationship did develop with the complainant. The relationship started as a friendship before becoming a loving adult relationship."


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