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Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy says he was abused by paedophile priest Finegan

MLA Conor Murphy said that he was seriously physically abused by the paedophile priest.

Northern Ireland Government collapses Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy arrives for a press conference in the Great Hall of Stormont in Belfast in January. Source: Artur Widak

SINN FÉIN MLA Conor Murphy has said that he was abused while at school in Co Down by paedophile priest Malachy Finegan.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish News, Murphy said that Finegan physically abused him when he was a schoolboy at St Colman’s College in Newry.

“I think it was just before the end of our third year, I was a 14-year-old, and there was a bit of ruckus going on in the class we were in and Finegan burst into the room,” the Newry and Armagh Assembly member told Irish News.

He singled me out, he dragged me out by the hair, by the crown of your head, dragged me along the corridor, up two flights of stairs into his room and then he beat me with a stick on the hands and about the body.
He was always prone to more violence than was perhaps to do with discipline.

Murphy said that the priest also tried to sexually groom him, and had asked him a series of explicit questions including whether the teenager loved him.

Murphy has called for a full investigation into the priest’s activities at the school.

Malachy Finegan

Father Malachy Finegan, who died in 2002, was a teacher at St Colman’s College in Newry from 1967 to 1976. Abuse claims against him were detailed in a BBC Spotlight programme in February of this year.

Since then, the priest has been accused of physical and sexual abuse by a number of former pupils, including the younger brother of Mary McAleese.

In a heartwrenching interview earlier this month, McAleese revealed that her brother had been physically abused by the priest.

My youngest brother, my baby brother, the youngest of nine children, was seriously, physically, sadistically abused by Malachy Finnegan.

“My mother, almost 90 years of age, had to discover that from the Belfast Telegraph three weeks ago.

My wonderful and so loved brother…to think that he never felt he could tell anyone…

She said that very serious questions needed to be asked, and called for an inquiry.

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“The first complaints about Malachy Finnegan go back to the 1970s, which means there is a body of evidence of people able to do something about this, but didn’t.”

The revelation that John McAreavey had officiated at the funeral mass of Finegan led to his resignation as bishop of Dromore earlier this month.

In a statement to the Irish News, the governors at St Colman’s College “unreservedly condemn all abuse” and advised that anyone who is a victim to contact the PSNI.

“The school is co-operating fully with a PSNI investigation regarding historic abuse. This is the most suitable mechanism to address these issues. Until such investigations are complete the board will not be making further public statements.”

Read: Mary McAleese says her brother was ‘seriously, physically, sadistically abused by Malachy Finnegan’

Read: John McAreavey resigns as Bishop of Dromore in wake of criticism

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