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Spain police arrest Irish priest for child abuse

August 24, 2013

MADRID (AP) — Spanish police have arrested an 85-year-old Irish Roman Catholic priest suspected of sexually abusing three altar boys in Britain over many years.

A National Police spokeswoman said Saturday that Francis Paul Cullen, a native of Dublin, was arrested in the town of Arona on the Canary Island of Tenerife.

He was detained on a European arrest warrant issued by Britain and will be taken to the National Court in Madrid.

A police statement said the abuses occurred in religious centers and churches in Britain between 1955 and 1991. The locations were not disclosed.

Police said the altar boys were aged 7, 8 and 12 years when they were first abused.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations.

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