A SHAMED priest who sexually abused four girls walked free from court today.
Father Neil McGarrity, 68, preyed on his victims at two churches in Glasgow as well as his parish home in the city.
McGarrity played “footsie” under the table with one of the girls and was caught in a “prolonged embrace” with another.
The priest of 33 years, from the city’s Maryhill, also touched and rubbed the girls with one victim, claiming he hugged her while sitting on a couch.
McGarrity was found guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court of four sexual assaults and one charge of engaging in sexual activity.
The charges span from December 2017 and February 2020 with the girls’ ages ranging between 10 to 16.
Sheriff Vincent Lunny ordered McGarrity to do 250 hours of unpaid work and put him under supervision for three years.
He also tagged McGarrity for nine months keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am.
McGarrity was placed on the sex offenders register for five years.
SCOTTISH PRIEST WRITES
Today at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Neil McGarritty, a Glasgow priest ordained in 1989 with 8 others including the current Vicar General was sentenced for 5 offences against 4 girls.
He avoided a jail sentence and Sheriff Vincent Lunny gave him an alternative to custody by ordering him to carry out 250 hours unpaid work, tagged for 9months from 7pm to 7am and placed on the sex offenders list for 5 years!
I’ve spoken today to the Grandmother of 3 of the girls and they are absolutely devastated that in their opinion he got off lightly. The Fathers of these girls are angry that their children have been let down by the church and now the state.
For most of his priesthood there have been rumours, allegations and cover ups by three 3 different archbishops and many of Neils victims from previous years are also devastated.
There is no justice!
Neil Mc Garrity has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a number of young girls.
His actual actions with the girls were regarded as being at the lower end of such actions, and he has avoided being sent to prison.
He has been put under 3 years supervision and told to do 250 hours of community work and is being placed on the sex offender’s register for 5 years.
He will now face a canonical trial and will undoubtedly never work as a priest again.
However, he is 68 years old and, in most other jobs, would have been retired.
I think justice has been done. He was investigated, prosecuted, tried, convicted, and sentenced.
I hope his victims have not been too badly damaged and that they will fully recover.
Do readers feel the sentence fitted the crime?
IS PHILIP EGAN OF PORTSMOUTH TELLING PORKIES ON HIS TLM’s
THE TABLET THIS WEEK
“More lies from Philip Egan. Of the seven places where this Mass is celebrated, including 8 am. in the Cathedral, six are Parish Churches. Those attending range from 2 people to 30.