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Priest voluntarily steps aside as ‘historical’ allegation is investigated

A priest has “voluntarily stood aside from ministry and parish duties” in Co Armagh as an historical allegation is investigated, it has been confirmed tonight (Sunday).

The Bishop of Dromore, Bishop John McAreavey, said in a statement that he had been made aware of an historical complaint against a priest in the Lurgan parish, in the diocese.

He said: “In accordance with both national and diocesan child protection policy and procedures, the relevant statutory authorities were informed.

“The matter was also reported to the designated person responsible for safeguarding procedures within the diocese.

“The priest against whom the allegation has been made has voluntarily stood aside from ministry and parish duties.

“As an independent risk assessment is now currently being carried out by Social Services, it would be inappropriate to make further comment until their report is complete.

“Safeguarding the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is of paramount concern for the Diocese of Dromore.

“I ask you to pray for everyone concerned.”

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