Australian police charge banned Irish priest with child sex abuse

An Irish priest charged with child sex offences in Australia yesterday was previously sent back to resume duties in Ireland without the Church telling anyone he was banned from ministry.

Fr Finian Egan, 77, was charged with 17 counts of abuse on children as young as 11 after turning himself in to police in Sydney.

The now retired priest was helped out of the car by detectives as he arrived at the Ryde police station. After being charged and released on strict, conditional bail, he was taken by ambulance to hospital suffering from heart problems.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1972 and 1987 while Fr Egan was serving as a priest to parishes in Sydney and on the Central Coast. According to ABC News Australia, after it previously investigated him, the Catholic church sent the priest back to resume duties in Ireland and told no one he had been banned from ministry.

Two of his alleged victims were waiting outside the police station when he arrived.

“I think I’m in shock,” Nikki Wells, 43, said. “It’s quite surreal because it’s been such a long process.”

Kellie Roche, 41, said her family emigrated from Ireland to Australia in 1981 and bypassed their local parish to attend a parish with a priest with an Irish background.


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