Man sues New Ulm diocese over sex abuse claims

A man who says he was sexually abused by a priest in southwestern Minnesota nearly 30 years ago is suing Catholic dioceses in Minnesota and Ireland.

The federal lawsuit says the Rev. Francis Markey repeatedly received treatment for abusing children in Ireland before he was reassigned to the Diocese of New Ulm.

The plaintiff's attorney, Patrick Noaker, says the two dioceses conspired to keep Markey's history of abuse a secret, and that families who attended the Granite Falls church where Markey served in 1982 were kept in the dark.

"These parents were never informed about Father Markey's past," Noaker said. "These parents were never informed of the fact that he received treatment in three different countries for sexually abusing children, and that he had been suspended three different times by his diocese in Ireland for sexually abusing children."

Markey was extradited to Ireland last year to face charges of sexual abuse in that country.

No one from the Diocese of New Ulm was immediately available for comment.

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