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Mediation move in cleric's house row

A former Catholic priest is to enter into mediation to resolve his legal bid for "squatter's rights" to the home he has lived in since his suspension from the priesthood 25 years ago.

Pat Buckley has agreed to hold talks aimed at avoiding a full trial in the case. A High Court judge said he would direct joint consultations if mediation plans are not in place by next month.

The maverick cleric is seeking adverse possession of the house in Larne, Co Antrim, where members of his congregation worship.

He has brought a case against the Catholic diocese of Down and Connor, as the registered owners of the property where he also conducts marriages, and retired Bishop Patrick Walsh. Bishop Buckley says he wants his name on the deeds so he can carry out £70,000 worth of repairs to the property.

Belfast Telegraph