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Paedophile priest Daniel Curran in court on fresh child abuse charges

By Deborah McAleese

Published 14/11/2014

Notorious: Daniel Curran
Notorious: Daniel Curran

One of Northern Ireland's most notorious clerical sex offenders has been charged with child abuse for a fifth time.

Fr Daniel Curran (64) has already been jailed for abusing more than a dozen boys over a 17-year period.

At Downpatrick Magistrates Court yesterday Curran, of Bryansford Avenue, Newcastle, was charged with four further sex offences committed against a child in the 1990s.

He is accused of gross indecency and indecent assault.

Curran allegedly abused the child sometime between August 8, 1990 and August 7, 1995.

At a preliminary enquiry yesterday District Judge Eamon King ruled there was a case to answer.

When asked if he wanted to respond to the charges, Curran said: "Not at this time." He was released yesterday by the court on his own bail of £500 to appear before Downpatrick Crown Court next month.

Curran has served three prison sentences in relation to the abuse of at least 13 young boys.

During one prison term he was attacked by another inmate.

His most recent prison sentence was imposed in February 2012, when he was jailed for three years for sexually abusing two boys at his family holiday home near Tyrella, Co Down, between 1989 and 1994.

At that time he had been serving as a priest in west Belfast and would take the boys away for weekends, having gained the trust of their parents.

Upon his imprisonment, the Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor apologised over Curran's offending, which spanned almost two decades.

"The entire Catholic community suffers whenever trust is betrayed in this manner by any person ministering in her name.

"I would reiterate the diocese's unequivocal apologies to all those who have suffered abuse by clergy and religious orders and give the reassurance that the safeguarding of children and young people is paramount," he said.

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