Monday 22 January 2018

Cleric is rushed to hospital after child-sex charges

Fr Finian Egan
Fr Finian Egan
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A RETIRED Irish priest was yesterday rushed to hospital after he was charged by police in Australia with a raft of child-sex offences.

Fr Finian Egan (right) left a Sydney police station by ambulance after being questioned and subsequently charged with 17 offences dating back to the 1970s.

The 77-year-old cleric was charged with 16 counts of indecent assault and one count of rape over a 15-year period.

The charges relate to the alleged sexual abuse of four different children -- three girls and a boy -- between 1972 and 1987 while he was serving as a priest to parishes in Sydney and the Central Coast.

Heart

The priest, who was ordained in Sydney in 1959, was granted strict conditional bail before an ambulance rushed him to a nearby hospital for treatment for heart problems.

In a statement, Australian police said detectives had "arrested and charged a Catholic priest with child-sex offences dating back four decades".

Delays in both the church's response to initial complaints and the setting-up of a criminal investigation have angered his alleged victims.

A church investigation later found that he had abused two girls, though he has consistently denied the allegations.

One of his accusers, Irishwoman Kellie-Anne Roche, has previously expressed her disgust at learning that he conducted a wedding and was publicly honoured for his 50 years of service as a priest after she had first made a complaint in 2008.

Fr Egan will appear in Ryde Local Court on May 23.

Irish Independent

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