Former town priest to be sentenced for assault on young girl

Fr Terry Rafferty. LM0409-186gc
Fr Terry Rafferty. LM0409-186gc

A FORMER Lurgan priest, who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a young girl, is to face sentencing next week.

Fr Terence Rafferty, who had been a priest in St Peter’s Parish in Lurgan, was convicted at Craigavon Crown Court before Christmas on four counts of indecent assault relating to offences in 2001.

He was due to appear before Craigavon Magistrates Court last Friday however the case was adjourned until January 31.

The former Administrator of Newry Cathedral, whose address was given as Chestnut Grove, Newry, had five other offences of indecent assault between December 2000 and January 2002 left on the books.

Details of the case were only released in late December after a court ban protecting the 50-year-old priest’s identity was lifted. This followed a request from the victim.

The victim was a minor at the time.

Fr Rafferty was also Parish Priest of Donaghmore.

There had been a legal wrangle after the Lord Chief Justice’s Office said the anonymity given to the Catholic priest would be reviewed.

The judiciary had declined to explain why his identity had been protected to date.

Victims’ groups had criticised the protection he enjoyed, claiming the public needed to be protected.