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
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: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor