James Donaghy

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James Martin Donaghy: Pope dismisses Lisburn paedophile priest

Published February 20, 2015 by misty534


James Donaghy, a former parish priest in Bangor, County Down,

is currently in jail having been twice convicted of sexual abuse

A convicted paedophile priest from County Antrim has been dismissed from the priesthood by Pope Francis.

James Martin Donaghy, originally from Lady Wallace Drive, Lisburn, is serving a 10-year jail sentence for abusing three victims, following a 2011 trial.

In 2013, he admitted indecently assaulting a boy and was given two more years in jail, to run concurrently.

Donaghy stepped down from his duties in 2004 and has not worked as a priest since, but is now banned from ministry.


The Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor said that his diocese had been informed of the Pope’s decision by the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

“This means that Mr Donaghy is not permitted to function as a priest under any circumstance, public or private,” the bishop’s statement said.

He added: “On behalf of the priests and people of the Diocese of Down and Connor, I again extend my deepest sorrow and apologise to survivors who suffered such pain at the hands of someone in whom they had placed their trust.

“I hope that this decision will assist those affected on their journey towards healing.”

At his 2011 trial, Donaghy was found guilty of 23 sex abuse charges committed against three teenagers on dates between June 1983 and December 2000.

His victims were an altar boy and two young trainee priests.

In June 2013, he was convicted of abusing a fourth victim, when he pleaded guilty to four charges of indecently assaulting a boy in 1989 and a further charge of common assault.

When he was sentenced the following month, the court heard that at the time of the 1989 offences, Donaghy was working a priest in the west Belfast parish of Corpus Christi, Ballymurphy.

He told the youngster he could get his dead grandfather into heaven as he sexually abused him.

The judge added two years to Donaghy’s original sentence, but as the terms will run concurrently, he will spend no additional time in prison for abusing the fourth victim.

BBC News

Paedophile priest told boy (7) he could get dead grandfather into heaven if he performed sex act

Published July 3, 2013 by misty534


Sickening: Paedophile priest James Donaghy is already serving a ten-year jail sentence in Magilligan for sex crimes against three victims.

A paedophile priest told a distraught seven-year-old boy that he could get his dead grandfather into heaven if he performed a sex act on him, a court has heard.

Belfast Crown Court heard that the boy was quite distressed about his grandfather being in purgatory but that 55-year-old James MartinDonaghy told the child “he could get him into haven if he helped him” and performed a sex act.

Last month just before his trial was due to begin Donaghy, originally from Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn but now languishing in Magilligan prison, pleaded guilty to four charges of indecently assaulting the boy and one of common assault against the schoolboy on dates between January and May 1989.

Following a lengthy trial at the end of 2011, Donaghy was convicted of a total of 17 sex offences including indecent assault and committing acts of gross indecency against all three victims.

Those charges all happened on various dates between 1983 and 2000.

In relation to the latest series of offences, prosecuting QC Ken McMahon said the boy was being trained by Donaghy for his upcoming first confession and communion when the abuse began.

After one offence the court heard that “the defendant said that this was to get his grandfather into heaven and that if he told anyone it would not work,” said the lawyer.

Mr McMahon said that a few days later, the boy went to confession as he did not feel right about what had happened but that when he went into the confessional box, he discovered Donaghy on the other side of the partition.

The abuse came to light in 2010 when Donaghy’s victim, his fourth, first told his wife and then the church who in turn contacted the police.

Arrested and interviewed Donaghy denied the allegations, claiming he did not even remember the boy.

Mr McMahon said it was correct that this latest case could have been dealt with at the same time as Donaghy’s previous offences but that the legal process just took a little longer.

He added however that given the fact Donaghy knew he was under suspicion for them, he could have confessed his crimes earlier but that his guilty pleas had come as a huge relief to this now 31-year-old victim.

Defence QC Eugene Grant told the court that despite the latest series of sex offences, there were testimonials before the court which evidenced how Donaghy had, as priest, given much appreciated pastoral care to many parishioners and families.

He submitted that his guilty pleas, unlike the previous case when he fought it to the end, had been a “seismic event” in Donaghy’s attitude, describing it as a “road to Damascus” moment which would have a positive impact his future rehabilitation.

Adjourning passing sentence until Friday, His Honour Judge Kinney remanded Donaghy back into custody, telling the court he wanted to reflect on the papers and evidence before him.


Belfast Telegraph