Ex-priest to face charges in Ireland


A US federal judge has ordered a former Catholic priest to return to Ireland to face charges that he sexually abused young boys in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Patrick Joseph McCabe (74) has denied the charges and fought extradition on the grounds that the alleged offences had passed the statute of limitations in the US.

Sitting in Alameda, California, Judge Nandor Vadas ruled that the US statute of limitations had no bearing on the extradition request and ordered Mr McCabe to be sent to Ireland to face the charges.

On all nine counts faced by Mr McCabe, the court said it found “credible evidence has been provided to this court to establish probable cause”.

The final verdict on proceeding with the extradition of Mr McCabe will be made by the office of secretary of state Hillary Clinton. A decision is expected within weeks.

In a 24-page report on the extradition hearing, the judge detailed the accusations made against Mr McCabe. The alleged assaults took place between 1973 and 1981. For most of that time he was working as a curate at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral on Marlborough Street. The claims were made by men who said they were between 10 and 14 when the alleged offences took place.

The report stated that gardaí were investigating Mr McCabe in 1988 when he was working in a school in California. A short time later, he left the priesthood and Irish authorities were unable to locate him until Interpol found he was living in Alameda in 2003.

Mr McCabe has denied the charges against him and has made repeated attempts to be granted bail from Santa Rita Jail in Alameda on grounds of ill-health.

He was remanded in custody in California last August, pending the full extradition hearing. He is also the subject of several civil lawsuits by alleged victims in northern California.