Former Cullyhanna curate at centre of allegations

April 6, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

The priest, who last weekend was asked by Cardinal Sean Brady to take temporary leave from his ministry, served as a curate in the Parish of Upper Creggan.

Fr. Sean McEvoy was based in Cullyhanna for a number of years during the 1990s.  Last weekend he accepted a request from the Cardinal to take a period of leave from his ministry amid allegations of child safety.

In a statement, Cardinal Brady said the decision had been taken “in the light of information relating to child safeguarding issues”.

He stated the time would allow police to investigate the matter but, in the meantime, Fr. McEvoy “continues to enjoy the right to the presumption of innocence.”

“The policy of the Archdiocese of Armagh is that in all matters relating to child safeguarding, the safety and welfare of the child must be our paramount concern,” the Cardinal said.

The nature of the allegations, or the period of time to which they relate, have not been revealed.

Parishioners in Cullyhanna expressed shock and disbelief at the news, saying that Fr. McEvoy was extremely popular and very well respected during his time in the village.

A native of Newry, Fr. McEvoy was ordained to the priesthood in 1984 and has been parish priest in Aghaloo, Aughnacloy for the past six years.