Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Accuser lied, says former priest on abuse charges

A former priest accused of sexually abusing three people has accused one of his alleged victims of telling lies about him in court.

James Martin Donaghy (53) told a Belfast Crown Court jury that while he initially liked Fr Patrick McCafferty, the priest has since “vilified me since 2001” by alleging “the most outrageous things about me”.

He also claimed that Fr McCafferty committed perjury whilst under oath, telling the court: “He has told lies about me.”

Asked by prosecuting QC Ken McMahon what Fr McCafferty's motivation would be to come to court to lie, Donaghy said he was “not going to speculate”.

The lawyer replied: “I have to suggest that the reason he gave the account that he did is that these events happened.”

Donaghy was giving evidence on his own behalf for the second day, maintaining his innocence of the 26 charges laid against him.

Donaghy, from Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn, denies the alleged sexual abuse and indecent assault of three males between June 1983 and December 2000. They are Fr Patrick McCafferty, Mr James Doherty and a man now aged 29 who was an altar boy and trainee priest at the time of the alleged abuse.

Fr McCafferty alleged that while at a seminary, Donaghy took his trousers down to expose the trainee priest’s genitals. He also claims that the night before Donaghy's ordination, the defendant got into bed beside him naked and sexually assaulted him.

Yesterday Donaghy claimed he had “never seen any part of Patrick McCafferty's private parts” and that the night before he became priest, he stayed in a convent in Lisburn in a separate room from Fr McCafferty, declaring: “Patrick McCafferty was never my lover.”

James Doherty alleges he was abused in St Michael's Parochial House in Finaghy the night before a funeral when a naked Donaghy got into bed beside him. He also claims two of the other three assaults occurred in the Parochial House of Corpus Christi where the accused had moved.

Donaghy, however, claimed that Mr Doherty had “never” stayed at any parochial house where he was resident.

The trial continues.

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