A former priest has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a boy and a girl between 30 and 40 years ago.

Joseph Michael Steele, 71, with an address at Kimmage Manor, Crumlin in Dublin, admitted five counts of indecent assault, and two of gross indecency, against the boy on dates between January 1967 and January 1971.

The former member of the Holy Ghost Order also pleaded guilty to three counts of indecently assaulting the girl on dates between August 1979 and July 1983.

No details of the offences were revealed during today's hearing at Belfast Crown Court.

Steele was released on continuing bail pending the completion of probation pre-sentence reports.

He will be sentenced next month.

In February 1996, Steele confessed to 11 charges of indecent assault, and one of gross indecency, which took place between 1969 and 1983 when he was a pastor and chaplain of a children's home.

The offences related to the sexual molestation of two boys and three girls, who were aged between nine and 15.