Priest suspended while police carry out investigation into ‘incident of an adult nature’

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The Diocese of Down and Connor has confirmed that a priest has been suspended from his ministry pending a PSNI investigation into “an alleged incident of an historical adult nature.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese commented: “The Diocese of Down and Connor has been informed that the Police Service of Northern Ireland has initiated an investigation into an alleged incident of an historical adult nature involving a priest of the Diocese of Down and Connor.

“Bishop Noel Treanor has suspended the cleric’s ministry pending a full and complete investigation.”

It’s understood police officers have interviewed the priest, who hasn’t been named by the Diocese, in connection with an alleged sexual assault.

The Diocesan spokesperson added: “As with every person in such circumstances the cleric’s innocence is presumed until the contrary is proven and he retains the right to his good name.

“The Diocese cannot provide any further information whilst the investigation is ongoing.”