Child rape accused priest first suspended in 1964

An elderly Irish Catholic priest facing extradition from the US over charges of child sex abuse was first suspended from service 45 years ago, it was revealed last night.

Father Francis Markey is accused of raping a 15-year-old boy during a pilgrimage to Lough Derg, Co Donegal, and again in Co Galway, both in 1968.



The retired cleric had been treated in a top Dublin mental health hospital following an allegation of abuse four years earlier.



The 81-year-old was arrested by US Marshals at his home in Indiana on Monday and was brought before the US District Court the following day.



Joseph Duffy, Bishop of Clogher where Fr Markey served until 1976, revealed he had written to the priest seven years ago urging him to return home and present himself to authorities to answer allegations.



"The abuse of a child is a despicable act and I condemn it unreservedly," the bishop said.



"My primary concern regarding abuse, and allegations of abuse, is for the victim."



Fr Markey, who was ordained in 1952, has been treated four times in mental health facilities after concerns were raised about his behaviour.



He was first suspended and sent for treatment in 1964.



The following year he became curate in Threemilehouse, Co Monaghan, where an accusation was reported to gardai in 1973. He was again suspended and sent for treatment.



Within two years Fr Markey was suspended from another position at Inniskeen parish and sent to a rehabilitation clinic known as Stroud in Brownshill, Gloucestershire.



He then had five years supervision in Clifden diocese in England before he went to a treatment centre run by a religious congregation in New Mexico in 1981.



The priest became a member of the Servants of the Paraclete before he skipped the centre four years later.



It is understood the Director of Public Prosecutions issued a warrant for his arrest 18 months ago and requested the priest be sent back to Ireland to face trial.



Pamela Mozdzierz, a spokeswoman for the US Marshal in northern Indiana, said the pensioner was arrested without any struggle at his home address in Miller Court, South Bend.



"When he was approached he was standing outside his home on the front porch," she said.



"He appeared in court yesterday and the next hearing is Monday next week."



The accused priest told the judge he was in bad health, having survived a stroke and a recent fall in which he hit his head.



The court heard that Irish authorities issued warrants for the priest in April and May last year after a garda investigation and requested he be held without bail until the extradition request was resolved.



Fr Markey was remanded to St Joseph County Jail until 16 November.



Bishop Duffy said that, in all cases of abuse, the diocese follows State and Church best practice guidelines, with gardai and health chiefs advised of all allegations.



"The safeguarding of children in the Diocese of Clogher is underpinned by the existence of child protection-trained volunteers in each of the 37 parishes of the diocese," he said.



He added that a dedicated committee had been set up in the diocese to liaise with the church watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links