Victims of priest are urged to come forward

The entrance to St Colman's College, Newry. Pic by Google
The entrance to St Colman's College, Newry. Pic by Google

Victims of paedophile priest Malachy Finnegan have been urged to come forward after the Diocese of Dromore revealed it was aware of 12 allegations against the former teacher.

Hundreds of boys from the Banbridge area travelled to St Colman’s College in Newry to attend school during the period in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s when Fr Finnegan taught and was President of the school.

He also served for a short time as parish priest in Dromore and it is thought there could be many more of his child victims.

Last week parents at four Co Down primary schools said they do not want the Bishop of Dromore, Dr John McAreavey to officiate at their children’s confirmation after he said Requiem Mass for Finnegan.

Bishop McAreavey admitted earlier this month that he had made an “error” by officiating at Finnegan’s funeral in 2002.

The Bishop described the former St Colman’s teacher’s actions as “abhorrent, inexcusable and indefensible.

Meanwhile, a group of victims have complained to the police ombudsman about a lack of police action on complaints about sexual abuse carried out by the priest in 1996.

A spokesperson for the Police Ombudsman’s Office for Northern Ireland confirmed yesterday that “solicitors acting on behalf of five victims” had notified them “that a complaint will be made to the Police Ombudsman’s Office later this week”.