Wednesday 20 September 2017

Gay dating site priest in 'sex assault' claims

It is alleged the young member of the clergy first met the individual in 2015 on a website which is geared towards those interested in mature men. Stock image
It is alleged the young member of the clergy first met the individual in 2015 on a website which is geared towards those interested in mature men. Stock image

Sarah MacDonald

A middle-aged man has claimed he was sexually assaulted on Catholic church property by a young cleric he met through a gay dating site.

The allegations come in the wake of the Maynooth seminary scandal last year.

It is understood Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has been made aware of the allegations. The Garda's sexual assault unit has also reportedly been informed but cannot launch an investigation until the alleged victim comes forward.

It is alleged the young member of the clergy first met the individual in 2015 on a website which is geared towards those interested in mature men. In his profile, the young cleric expressed a preference for men aged between 50 and 90. The man alleges he visited the cleric at a presbytery in 2015 and stayed overnight. He claims he was sexually assaulted here.

The man, who is described as a rural-based professional, this week informed an inside source in the church of what had occurred in the Catholic presbytery. He has not yet approached gardaí as he is fearful the young cleric would tell others he was gay.

The source expressed concern that the young cleric, who took a vow of celibacy in recent years, "may do this [sexual assault] again in the future".

The source told the Irish Independent he had this week emailed all the relevant information to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. He also spoke to Dr Martin twice by telephone, once on Tuesday and again on Wednesday evening.

The Irish Independent asked the Archbishop if he was aware of the allegations. However, no response was forthcoming.

The allegations come as the Archbishop lands in Rome ahead of a visit by the Irish bishops to the Vatican.

Irish Independent

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