Priest who was found innocent of sexual assault charges resigns ministry

A priest who was acquitted in 2012 of sexual assault charges has resigned from ministry in the Diocese of Derry.

Fr Eugene Boland, a parish priest in Cappagh, County Tyrone, stepped aside four years ago while allegations were being investigated.

He had resumed his duties just two weeks ago, after it was confirmed legal proceedings and Church processes had been completed.

The Donegal-born priest's resignation was announced in a statement issued by the Diocese.

Fr Boland, of Killyclogher Road in Omagh, was acquitted of indecently assaulting a teenage girl in June 2012 following an eight-day trial at Derry Crown Court.

The statement said Fr Boland had been engaged in therapy sessions to prepare for his return to ministry after being cleared of the allegations of abuse.

However on his return it had "all too quickly become clear to Fr Boland and diocesan authorities that he is not ready".

The statement said Fr Boland now needs more time for help and guidance in this regard, and has been granted leave of absence from ministry.

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