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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 21 November, 2014

Irish priest found guilty of child sexual abuse in Australia

A jury found Finian Egan guilty of the rape and indecent assault of three girls over the course of almost three decades.

Image: Ciara Molden/PA Archive

AN IRISH CATHOLIC priest has been found guilty of the rape and indecent assault of three girls between 1961 and 1987 in Australia.

A jury in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court yesterday found Finian Egan, 78,  guilty of eight charges spanning almost three decades.

All of the girls were aged between 10 and 17 when the abuse took place, the court heard. Egan, who is now retired, had denied the allegations during the three-week trial.

Seven News reports that Egan was given permission to conduct Mass in Sydney and in Ireland in the late 2000s, despite a complaint by one of his victims which was upheld by the Catholic Church.

In a statement, Bishop David Walker of the diocese of Broken Bay expressed his sadness at the trauma and suffering the victims had experienced.

“We continue to pray for the victims, their families and our communities,” he said.

Finian Egan is a retired priest of this diocese, who does not undertake any ministry in the Church. I ask that he also be kept in your prayers.
Sexual abuse is against everything for which the Church stands for. The safety and well being of young people in our care needs to be our highest priority.

He urged anyone with information about child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church to contact police.

Egan is due to be sentenced on 16 December.

Read: Three Irish  men among those identified in webcam sex crimes sting >

Read: Irish priest accused of child sex abuse in US >

Read: Sexual abuse by a family members accounts for 53% of clients – One in Four report >

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