A 52-year-old Catholic priest has appeared in court in Belfast accused of sexually abusing two boys.

James Martin Donaghy is denying 13 charges of indecent assault, and one of common assault.

The offences in relation to one victim are alleged to have occurred on dates between June and August 1983, while the other alleged indecent behaviour took place on dates between May 1994 and December 2001.

The priest from Lisburn in Co Antrim stepped down from his ministry at a church in Ballyholme in Co Down in March 2004 after allegations by two individuals emerged.

Lawyers for the defence and prosecution told the court there would be numerous applications to be dealt with before the trial date in January of next year.