Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Newry High School at centre of historical abuse investigation

Another Newry secondary school has become embroiled in child sex abuse claims, with the PSNI investigating complaints of sexual abuse made by two former Newry High pupils dating back to the 1970’s.

In a statement released by the Education Authority on behalf of the school last week, a spokesperson confirmed that police are investigating historic abuse allegations “which relate to a period several decades ago and not to any individual currently connected with the school.”

“There is no suggestion of any current safeguarding concerns or issues in respect of Newry High School,” added the EA spokesperson.

“In light of the ongoing police investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The PSNI said they have received a report alleging historic abuse and confirmed that detectives from the Public Protection Branch are currently investigating.

The allegations are the latest in a string of child sex abuse claims to have rocked the Newry area in recent months.  In February,  details emerged of paedophile priest Malachy Finnegan, a former teacher and principal of St.Colman’s College in Newry, with allegations that he abused boys at the school and in the Parish of Clonduff. Allegations later surfaced against Fr. Seamus Reid in March this year, who was accused of abusing pupils at the nearby St.Joseph’s Boys High School while he was school chaplain there and at St. Colmans, under the guise of conducting confession. 

In June this year, former Abbey PS Principal, Brother Paul Dunleavy, was charged with multiple counts of historic child abuse at the Newry school in the 60s and 70s.  He denied all charges and his trial is expected to begin early next year.