Derry priest resigns from ministry

Fr. Eugene Boland.
Fr. Eugene Boland.

A local priest acquitted of sexual assault charges two years ago has resigned from ministry in the Diocese of Derry.

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

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

The priest’s resignation was announced in a statement issued by the Diocese at the weekend.

The statement said Fr Boland had offered his resignation and that a new parish priest would be appointed in “due course”.

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

The statement said the Donegal-born priest had been engaged in therapy sessions to prepare for his return to ministry after being cleared of the allegations of abuse.

In March, Fr Boland returned to ministry to resume his duties, but the statement said that, on his return, it had “all too quickly become clear to Fr Boland and diocesan authorities that he is not ready”.