Finnegan victim awarded £150,000 in damages

Four priests released on bail in Finnegan enquiry

MALACHY Finnegan.

Staff reporter

Reporter:

Staff reporter

Tuesday 14 June 2022 14:59

A man who was abused by paedophile priest Malachy Finnegan has been awarded £150,000 in damages.

The victim, who is now in his 50s, is also to meet Archbishop Eamon Martin within the next 40 days to receive an apology in person.

The man had sued the Board of Governors at St Colman’s College and the Diocese of Dromore for alleged negligence and failing to protect him from Finnegan.

The abuse took place over a five-year period during the 1970s which saw him being beaten with canes, wooden rods and leather straps. He was also subjected to sexual assaults.

The priest taught and worked at St Colman’s College from 1967 to 1987, spending the last decade as the school’s president.

He went on to serve as a parish priest in Clonduff, Co Down.

Finnegan, who died on 2002, was accused of a long campaign of child sexual abuse, but he was never prosecuted or questioned by police about claims made against him.

In 2018 it emerged that the Diocese of Dromore had settled a claim made by one of his alleged victims.

The board of governors at St Colman’s has previously condemned the physical, sexual and emotional abuse inflicted by Fr Finnegan while he was working there.

In an attempt to erase the paedophile priest’s past with the College, his image was also removed from all the school’s photographs including the many GAA successes over the years.

The settlement, reached in the High Court, will also see the costs of the victim’s ongoing counselling covered.

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