Priest denies abusing three sisters

Wednesday 21 April 2010 17.13
Omagh Crown Court - Priest goes on trial
Omagh Crown Court - Priest goes on trial

A Dublin-based Catholic priest has gone on trial in Northern Ireland accused of sexually abusing three young sisters from Co Fermanagh.

The charges relate to alleged offences committed in the 1960s and 1970s.

75-year-old Fr Lewis, a member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa, with an address at Cypress Grove House, Templeogue, Dublin, is accused of indecently assaulting the three sisters between 1963 and 1973.

The 11 charges cover a period when Fr Lewis lived at the White Fathers' College, Blacklion, Co Cavan.

The alleged victims said the abuse began when they were seven years old.

Omagh Crown Court heard that when Fr Lewis was interviewed by the police he said he never touched the children, that the claims were a total fabrication and that he was a victim of a family lynch mob.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.