Priest Sent for Treatment in Ireland

By Kevin Allen
South Bend Tribune
November 12, 2009

A Catholic priest charged with child sex abuse in Ireland had been suspended from his clerical duties three times before absconding from the church in 1985, the bishop of his home diocese said Wednesday.

The Rev. Francis Markey, 81, was arrested Monday at his home on Miller Court in South Bend.

He has lived in the United States since 1982, the Most Rev. Joseph Duffy, bishop of the Diocese of Clogher, said in a statement.

It is still unclear why and how long Markey was living in South Bend.

Irish officials want the U.S. to send Markey back to his home country to face charges that he raped a 15-year-old boy in 1968.

He is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail awaiting an extradition hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in South Bend.

Three of Markey's neighbors interviewed Wednesday described him as a cordial but quiet man who lived alone and mostly kept to himself. They knew he was a priest and that he had come from Ireland, but he didn't talk about his past, they said.

One neighbor said Markey has lived on Miller Court for at least 10 years.

Markey was ordained in 1952 in Ireland and served in three parishes there before being removed from a ministry position in 1976, Duffy's statement said.

He was first suspended and sent to a Dublin psychiatric hospital in 1964.

In 1973, the local parish and police were informed of an abuse accusation against Markey. Again, he was suspended and sent to the Dublin hospital for treatment.

He was suspended a third time in 1975 and sent for treatment in England under the supervision of the Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order dedicated to treating addictions.

He remained under the supervision of an English diocese until 1981, when he was sent to a treatment center in New Mexico.

Markey left the Servants of the Paraclete in 1985 and did not communicate with the diocese again until the late 1990s, the bishop said.


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