Northern Ireland news

Catholic Church yet to respond to Malachy Finegan informer accusation

Alleged paedophile priest Malachy Finegan
Connla Young

The Catholic Church has yet to respond to concerns that alleged paedophile priest Malachy Finegan could have breached the seal of the confession while working as an RUC informer.

The PSNI has also last night refused to confirm or deny if Finegan was a police informer.

Concerns were raised earlier this week by solicitor Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, who represents some of Finegan’s victims.

Mr Winters also raised the prospect that he may have breached the confidential seal of confession - a sacrament of the Catholic Church.

Earlier this week church authorities were asked by the Irish News if they have any information that he was an informer or if they can provide assurances to victims or others that the seal of the confessional box was preserved at all times.

Finegan has been accused of sexual abuse across Co Down, including at St Colman's College in Newry where he taught from 1967.

He also served was president of the school from 1976 to 1987.

His long association with St Colman’s College brought him into contact with thousands of school children from republican backgrounds across Co Down and south Armagh.

It has been suggested Finegan may have been proving information to the RUC.

“For many years there was anecdotal evidence only that he was some sort of low-level informant supplying information to the police on young fellas who might have been suspected republicans,” Mr Winters said.

It also emerged this week that Mr Winters has asked secretary of state Julian Smith on behalf on one his clients to establish an inquiry into the claims of abuse levelled against the priest and others.

The solicitor added that the police recently informed him that “on the grounds of NCND (neither confirm nor deny) the PSNI would be unable to rebut the simple allegation that Finegan was an informant".

In a statement the PSNI last night again relied on the NCND policy.

“We would neither confirm nor deny and no inference should be drawn from this,” a spokesman said.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: