Abuse Suspect Priest Escaped Supervision

RTE News
November 11, 2009

[with audio and video]

A priest who the authorities here are trying to extradite to face child sexual abuse charges spent the last 24 years in the US after escaping supervision by a religious order that had been treating him.

A spokesman for the Catholic diocese of Clogher said the gardaí were informed in 1973 that Monaghan-based Fr Francis Markey was in need of treatment after allegedly abusing a child.

Fr Markey, 81, is accused of twice raping a 15-year-old boy in Ireland.

He has appeared in court in the US to face a request for his extradition.

Fr Markey was arrested in South Bend in Indiana on Monday on foot of a warrant issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions 18 months ago.

At yesterday's hearing the court heard that the allegations were made in 2006, over 38 years after the incidents of abuse were said to have taken place in Lough Derg and in Co Galway.

The priest told the judge he was 'at a loss' explaining that he was in bad health, had survived a stroke and had recently fallen and hit his head.

The court heard that Irish authorities had issued warrants for Fr Markey in April and May of last year and requested that Fr Markey be held without bail until the extradition request was resolved.

The judge set the extradition hearing for 16 November to allow the priest more time to get a lawyer.


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