Monday 24 June 2019

Priest accused of assaulting sisters a 'loving, caring man'

Ian Hunter

A DUBLIN-based priest previously depicted as a vile paedophile was yesterday portrayed by three female cousins as a loving, caring, wonderful man.

An African bishop also decried the "repugnant and damaging allegations" against Fr Eugene Lewis at his trial in Omagh Court, Co Tyrone, yesterday.

The 75-year-old pensioner, a former provincial superior of the White Fathers, based at Cypress Grove House, Templeogue in Dublin, faces a total of 11 counts of indecently assaulting Co Fermanagh sisters on differing dates between August 1963 and September 1973.

Giving evidence as part of his defence case, a young cousin, Mary Lewis, told the court of his visits to her Dublin home when she and her own sister were youngsters aged between seven and eight and how "he tuned into us kids".

While his accusers claim the priest sometimes abused them as he told them bedtime stories, Ms Lewis said she "did remember Eugene's storytelling, that was something he was really good at".

Earlier his solicitor had read statements of support from a number of people, including Bishop Emmanuel Badejo from Nigeria, who spoke of the "man who never gave up on a good cause".

Final submissions in the case are expected to begin next Monday.

Irish Independent

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