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US diocese sued over 'abuse by Irish priest'

A CATHOLIC Church diocese in the United States is being sued by an alleged abuse victim who says an Irish priest sexually assaulted him in the 1980s.

Fr Francis Markey (84), was due to appear in court here over the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy in 1968, but died in September before the case went to trial.

He had been extradited from the United States.

Fr Markey was suspended from his ministry here on three occasions and put in treatment programmes in the 1960s and '70s over sex abuse allegations.

Now he is being accused of sexually assaulting a teenager in the state of Minnesota.

The alleged victim, who was 15 at the time, says he was groped by Fr Markey in St Joseph's Church, Henderson in 1982.

His lawyer, Pat Noaker, has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of New Ulm claiming that his client was sexually assaulted while Fr Markey was temporarily serving at the church.

The lawyer has argued that the diocese should have known about Fr Markey's history of alleged abuse.

The diocese is contesting the case, claiming to have had no knowledge of the previous allegations of sexual abuse against Fr Markey at the time.

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