Priest acquittal brings ‘great relief’

Father Boland
Father Boland
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Monsignor Eamon Martin has said the acquittal of Fr Eugene Boland brings “ great relief to many people.”

A jury at Derry Crown Court yesterday found Father Eugene Boland (66), not guilty by majority verdict on all five charges of indecent assault on the girl of around 14 years old in the parochial house of St Joseph’s Church, Galliagh between June 28, 1990 and June 30, 1992.

In a statement issued last night Monsignor Martin, Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Derry, said: “After a public trial, before a Judge and a Jury, Father Eugene Boland, a priest of the Diocese of Derry, has been acquitted of all charges made against him. Fr. Boland has always denied these charges and, at the start of the investigation, the Diocese of Derry emphasised his entitlement to a presumption of innocence.

“Fr. Boland’s acquittal understandably brings great relief to many people. In different ways the whole process has been very difficult for everyone involved. Through its pastoral and other support systems, the diocese seeks to reach out to anyone who has been affected by this case.

“Following today’s judgement, the normal review under the Church’s safeguarding policy and procedures and the Church’s own internal process can resume. As Diocesan Administrator, I undertake to ensure that these proceed as quickly as possible,” he said.