On the closing day of the trial of Fr. Eugene Boland the jury heard from several character witnesses for the priest.
The Moville born priest of Parochial House, Killyclogher Road, Omagh, denies five charges of indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl between June 1990 and June 1992.
The offences are alleged to have occurred while the teenager volunteered at a Parochial House in the Galliagh area of Derry.
She alleges that the 66-year-old hugged her, kissed her on the lips and rubbed her back underneath her clothing.
At Derry Crown Court today Fr. Eddie McGuinness who shared the parochial house with Fr. Boland told the court that the accused priest’s ‘first religion’ was golf.
He said that in all his years there he could not remember a Tuesday, the day the alleged offences were said to have occurred, when Fr. Boland was not away.
He also told the court that the defendant would have worked with young people expensively and he had never heard any allegations made against him.
An aunt of the complainant told the court of knowing Fr. Boland for many years and how he had officiated at the funeral of the mother of the girl at the centre of the allegations. She said that she had never heard any allegations against the priest.
Two women who worked in the parochial house said Fr. Boland was a ‘warm’ person who would greet people with a kiss and a hug.
It’s expected that the jury will begin their deliberations tomorrow morning.