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Priest goes to ground after child concerns

A Co Tyrone parish priest who was stood down while child safety concerns are investigated has gone to ground.

Fr Sean McEvoy left the parochial house in Aughnacloy at the weekend, and attempts to contact him yesterday were unsuccessful.

Fr McEvoy has been parish priest of Aghaloo for the last six years, and yesterday people in the border community spoke of their shock at the news.

Cardinal Sean Brady told parishioners about his decision to temporarily stand down Fr McEvoy during Mass on Saturday evening.

He said Fr McEvoy had been asked to take a period of leave from his ministry “in the light of information relating to child safeguarding issues”.

It is understood to relate to issues which took place a number of years ago.

Cardinal Brady said Fr McEvoy had agreed to stand down, stating it would allow the civil authorities, who have been informed, to investigate the matter.

“The policy of the Archdiocese of Armagh is that in all matters relating to child safeguarding, the safety and welfare of the child must be our paramount concern,” he told mass-goers.

He said that Fr McEvoy “continues to enjoy the right to the presumption of innocence” whilst the matters are investigated.

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