West Belfast priest faces no prosecution

Published Sunday, 18 November 2012
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A west Belfast priest, who stepped down after the church received claims about his alleged conduct, will not be prosecuted following a police investigation.

West Belfast priest faces no prosecution
Fr Hugh Kennedy, pictured, who stepped down from his duties last year. (© UTV)

Father Hugh Kennedy was administrator of St Peter's Cathedral when he stepped aside in September 2011.

At the time, the church said that information had been passed by church officials to social services and police.

Fr Kennedy, who was already on sick leave at that point, had said he took the decision after talks with Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor.

He added: "Bishop Treanor requested me to 'stand aside' from all my priestly/cathedral duties on foot of 'information' he had received.

"This information was not shared with me.

"Following from this, I have ceased working as a priest at the Cathedral.

"I have no hesitation in co-operating with church/state authorities in light of this development."

On Sunday, a spokesman for the Diocese of Down and Connor said: "The Diocese of Down and Connor has received confirmation that, following an investigation by the relevant authorities, no criminal charges will be brought against Fr Hugh Kennedy.

"The normal review under the Church's Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and its own internal process has resumed."

© UTV News
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