Belfast Telegraph

Priest returns after church inquiry

A west Belfast priest who stood down from duties amid claims about his conduct has returned to ministry after being cleared by a church probe.

Fr Hugh Kennedy had already been told that no criminal prosecution would be taken against him.

The cleric agreed to temporarily stop working in St Peter's Cathedral in 2011 while church authorities passed details of the claims to the police and social services to investigate. Specific allegations were not outlined, but at the time Fr Kennedy issued a statement insisting he was not a child molester.

While police confirmed late last year that no file would be passed to prosecutors, Fr Kennedy remained on leave from duties pending the outcome of a separate church inquiry.

Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor yesterday said: "Following a PSNI investigation and a more recent internal church review, all relevant agencies, including the statutory authorities, are satisfied that Fr Kennedy should return to ministry.

"At no time was Fr Kennedy charged with any criminal offence or allegation nor was he subject to interview by the PSNI."

Belfast Telegraph

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