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PSNI appeal for Finnegan victims to come forward

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

PSNI appeal for Finnegan victims to come forward thumbnailMalachy Finnegan

THE PSNI have appealed for victims of Malachy Finnegan to come forward.

A team has been set up within Public Protection Branch of the PSNI to investigate the circumstances of abuse committed by the priest.

Finnegan was a teacher at St Colman's College in Newry from 1967 to 1976 and was later President of the school. He also worked as a Parish Priest within the Diocese of Dromore.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "While Father Finnegan died in 2002, and therefore can no longer be held accountable in a court of law, we want to:

"Establish and take action against any living offender, from that time, and importantly assess if there are any current child safeguarding risks.

"Determine if there was any other abuse of children committed by any other person, other than Fr Finnegan, at St. Colman's College when Fr Finnegan worked there between the mid/late 60's to the mid/late 80's.

"Establish whether there are any lessons to be learned from the way in which authorities acted to safeguard children, whether collectively or individually.

"Ascertain when any authority first became aware of Father Finnegan's offending behaviour; what action was taken to ensure adequate safeguarding was implemented; and what information, if any, about his offending was reported to the police service at that time."

Appealing directly to victims, the spokesperson added, "If you were abused by Father Malachy Finnegan, or abused by any other person at St. Colman's between 1967 and 1987, the investigation team would like to hear from you.

"Please report the matter directly to the PSNI on '101', the non-emergency number.

"If you have been the victim of any sexual or physical violence or abuse, whether recently or in the past, whether connected to any church or any school or not, or if you are the parent of a child this has happened to, report the matter directly to the police service on '101', the non-emergency line.

"In an emergency situation dial the police emergency number '999'. Specially trained officers will investigate what has happened to you."

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