The Catholic Church in Glasgow has apologised to victims of a priest convicted of sexual abuse who spent time at a Clydebank parish.

Archbishop William Nolan was speaking after Father Neil McGarrity, 68, was convicted last week of sexually abusing four girls across two parishes in the east end of Glasgow.

McGarrity preyed on his victims at St Bernadette's Church in Carntyne and St Thomas’ in Riddrie as well as his parish home in the Glasgow.

However, the Post understands McGarrity also served some time at St Mary’s Church in Duntocher for many years, although there is no suggestion he committed any offence whilst serving there.

St Mary’s declined to comment further to the Post.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow said: “The fact that a priest has been found guilty of the abuse of those in his care is a source of deep sorrow for the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

“It is our hope that the trial, conviction and sentencing of the individual responsible will afford the victims some comfort. 

“We sincerely apologise to the victims of Fr McGarrity and renew apologies previously made for the abuse suffered by anyone in the care of those ministering or working on behalf of the Church.

“The Archdiocese will, in due course, continue its own canonical process, which was put on hold until completion of the criminal case and sentencing.

“The Archdiocese reported the allegations to the police and co-operated fully with the police throughout this investigation, suspending Fr McGarrity from public ministry, a suspension which remains in force.

“The pain and trauma suffered by survivors goes deep. The Archdiocese is committed to doing all it can to support survivors as they seek justice and healing.

"We would encourage anyone who has been affected by this or any similar events to contact us for support.”

McGarrity was found guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court of four sexual assaults and one charge of engaging in sexual activity spanning between from December 2017 and February 2020 with the girls’ ages ranging between 10 to 16.

The court heard from a girl who said she was repeatedly hugged by McGarrity when she was aged 10 or 11 at St Thomas's Church.

The witness stated that McGarrity made her feel "uncomfortable". She added that he called her his “favourite” and that she wasn’t to “tell anybody.”

The girl stated she did not tell her parents as she kept it "bottled up".

The victim then recalled being with McGarrity at his parish home in 2020.

She said: “It got too big to handle - we went in the living room and said to come and sit on a spinning chair. He wanted me to put my head on him and he cuddled into me. I said I can’t do this and I need the toilet.”

However, when giving evidence McGarrity denied there was anything “sexual” on his part.

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until March.

McGarrity was put on the sex offenders register and was released on bail.