Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Irish priest accused of rape due in US court

AN Irish priest at the centre of extradition proceedings in the US over the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy in Ireland 40 years ago is due before court today.

Fr Francis Markey (81), will appear before the US District Court in South Bend, Indiana, to determine if he will continue to be held in jail or given bail with conditions.

He was detained last Monday on foot of an extradition warrant in connection with the alleged rape of the teenage boy during a pilgrimage to Lough Derg and again in Co Galway in 1968.

The alleged victim made the accusations in June 2006.

The priest, who was ordained in 1952, has been suspended three times. In 1964, he was suspended and sent for treatment in St John of God's in Stillorgan, Dublin.

In 1973, there was an accusation of abuse.

A garda told the local parish priest that Fr Markey needed treatment and he was suspended.

In 1975, he was suspended and sent for treatment in Britain. It is understood he went to South Bend, Indiana, in 1990.

He got a job in a centre in 2001 counselling people with addictions. He retired in March this year due to health reasons.

During a hearing last Tuesday, the court heard that Irish authorities issued warrants for the priest in April and May last year and requested he be held without bail until the extradition request was resolved.

Fr Markey was remanded to St Joseph County jail.

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