Thursday 22 February 2018

Ex-cleric was violent sex predator, says victim

Former priest James Donaghy
Former priest James Donaghy

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

The former priest at the centre of the Down and Connor row was described by one of his victims as a "a violent sexual predator".

Jim Donaghy (55) was jailed for 10 years in 2012 after being convicted of 23 sex abuse charges against a young adult and two teenage altar boys.

The former parish priest for Bangor, Co Down, stepped down in 2004 when a complaint against him was made to the police.

One of his victims, Pat McCafferty, was a student priest when he was first abused by Donaghy in Co Wexford.

Fr McCafferty described the abuse he suffered at the hands of Donaghy as "brutal", "horrendous", and worse than the death of his mother.

It started when Donaghy was a deacon and it continued after he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Down and Connor.

Fr McCafferty described his abuser as "a violent sexual predator" and said the only way he survived was by blocking things out of his mind.

A second victim had also been thinking about becoming a priest, but abandoned his plans to do so.

James Doherty was a teenage altar boy in Finaghy, Co Antrim, in 1985 when the abuse started.

He told a court Donaghy got into bed beside him and pulled down his underpants before attacking him.

Further sexual assaults followed and Mr Doherty did not report the abuse until 2003.

Irish Independent

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