Priest accused of Donegal rape could be extradited in Wednesday

A US-based Irish priest, who is accused of raping a 15-year-old boy in Donegal, has just 48 hours left to fight his extradition to Ireland to face abuse charges.

For the past 18 months 82 year-old Fr Francis Markey  has been fighting the attempts by the Director of Public Prosecutions to bring him back to Ireland, but a US judge has ruled that he must face the charges.

The priest, from the Catholic diocese of Clogher, is wanted in Ireland on charges of twice raping a 15-year-old boy in 1968.

Fr Markey’s alleged victim made the accusations against him in 2006, nearly 38 years after he said the rapes took place.

The priest’s accuser said he was 15 years old when Fr Markey, who was considered a family friend, allegedly raped him once in Lough Derg and once in Co Galway, after his father’s funeral.

In court at the weeked the preciding judge said he accepted that the evidence of a crime -- which was based soley on the alleged victim's claims -- may be "weak", but he said that was up to the Irish courts to argue and that the retired priest must face the charges.

He has now given the two sides until Wednesday to make further motions and Fr Markey's attorney has pledged to file more motions to block the extradition.

The judge has agreed to allow the elderly priest to remain free on bail until then. However, he could be taken into custody on Wednesday and extradited to Ireland.