Sligo priest steps down over allegation


A Parish Priest has stepped down from his Co Sligo ministry following allegations of misconduct.

The move was announced at mass today by Bishop Christy Jones of Elphin who insisted that the allegations against the priest were unfounded.

The Bishop said the allegation related to an event in the late 70s and confirmed that Canon Niall Ahern, Parish Priest of Ransboro and Strandhill would step down. Canon Ahern was greeted by parishioners after the service.

Canon Ahern issued a statement afterwards which read:

"Some days ago an allegation was made against me. There is no foundation whatsoever in this.

"Nevertheless, while the truth is being independently and categorically determined I have decided to stand aside from ministry.

"It is tempting to feel some degree of injustice that any person - priest or lay - should effectively have to prove his innocence before he can resume normal life. We should not feel this.

"The truth is that our Church was in the past too slow to take action on such matters. The part of the price we pay for this involves the approach that I am now taking and which is the recent practice of the Church.

"I know you will understand that I have no more to add at this time except to ask for your prayers."