News Courts

Thursday 28 August 2014

Face of priest investigated for alleged theft from his order

Ken Foy

Published 01/03/2014 | 08:49

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Father Anthony Ryan

Anthony Egan (59) was arrested by gardai investigating the alleged theft of €500,000 from his religious order.

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He was released without charge after being questioned for a number of hours at Mountjoy Garda  Station yesterday about the alleged offence before being freed from custody.

The Herald reveals that Fr Egan was previously cleared of criminal charges in February 2012 after he was alleged to have falsely advertised his services as a psychiatrist in a national newspaper.

In this new case, a file is now being prepared by the DPP in relation to a complaint by a senior clergyman about the alleged thefts, which are claimed to have taken place over a 13-year period.

The cash is alleged to have been taken from the order by making false claims for Mass stipends.

Under canon law, a priest is entitled to receive one stipend from the diocese or the order from collections made during the celebration of Mass.

Additional stipends cannot be claimed if the priest celebrates multiple Masses on one day.

Fr Egan could not be contacted for comment last night.

He had been staying in a Drumcondra B&B.

When the Herald called there, a woman who answered the door confirmed he had stayed for the week, but had now left.

Gardai said their investigation into the alleged theft has not been completed.

It is understood that one of the options under consideration is to seek a court order to freeze any accounts held by the suspect in financial institutions.

Two years ago, in a previous court case, Fr Egan was cleared of all charges after Dublin District Court heard he placed an advertisement in the Irish Times after he was duped into paying €1,000 to complete a fraudulent degree in psychiatry from a fake university in an internet scam.

Gardai began an investigation after Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin saw the advertisement and contacted them.

 

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