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Extradited ex-priest faces 55 Irish abuse charges

DUBLIN (AP) – A defrocked Irish priest who was extradited from Brazil with British help has appeared in a Dublin court charged with 55 counts of sexually abusing 18 children.

The judge ordered 72-year-old Peter Kennedy held without bail Wednesday in Dublin’s Cloverhill Prison until his next court appearance Feb. 8.

Kennedy fled to England in 2002 after his accusers told police he had molested them when they were children from 1968 to 1984.

The church removed Kennedy from the priesthood in 2003 by which time he had emigrated to Brazil using his British passport. The church that year paid one of Kennedy’s accusers euro325,000 ($425,000) in damages, the biggest abuse settlement reported in Ireland.

Brazil deported Kennedy to England Dec. 26. He was returned to Dublin Jan. 18.

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