Priest facing Donegal rape charge launches another legal challenge in the US

A US based Irish priest has launched a legal attempt to remain on bail while he fights extradition over an alleged rape in Donegal

82 year-old Fr Francis Markey  now living in the US state of Indiana, has been accused of allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy ib two occasion, once at Lough Derg and once in Galway in 1968.

Fr Markey has been battling attempts by the DPP to bring him back to Ireland to face charges for the past 18 months.

In written briefs filed in court this week, lawyers for the priest argue he should remain free on bail while he files more motions fighting the extradition.

The assistant US attorney for northern Indiana, Kenneth Hays, pointed to case and statutory law which, he says, requires Fr Markey to be jailed once the court certifies extradition.

Judge Christopher Nuechterlein has accepted that evidence of a crime  may be "weak" but said it was up to the Irish courts to argue it and that the retired priest must face the charges.

Fr Markey was arrested in November at his Indiana home in connection with the alleged rape. The priest, formerly based in Monaghan, is accused of raping the child twice in 1968.

The 57-year-old man complained to gardai in June 2006 after reading the Ferns report.