A KILWINNING priest has urged any victims of abuse at a Catholic retreat in Ayrshire to come forward after a man alleged he was raped by clergy there.

The man who claims he was brutally gang raped by priests at Coodham House when he was only nine or 10 was due to make a statement to police this week.

Father Gerard Magee, who has supported the man, has been demanding answers from the Passionist Order who ran Coodham in Symington, South Ayrshire, in 1960 – the year of the alleged crime.

Father Magee, of St Winning’s Church, said: “People have been reluctant to come forward – they thought no one would believe them. Sadly, that was the case – children who came forward were likely to get the belt. But that is not the case anymore.

“It is a crime to abuse children. People from all over the central belt in Scotland visited Coodham.” Father Magee said the 65-year-old Motherwell man approached him for help after he watched a BBC documentary about Catholic abuse last year.

The alleged victim said he visited Coodham – then known as Fatima House – with his father and friend when priests asked if he could help with a party.

He claims evil paedophiles plied him with a spiked drink and offered him sweeties after he was applauded on arrival to a room with about eight depraved priests.

He said he was raped by some of them while others watched. He eventually blacked out.

Father Magee said: “People who have been abused and come forward have tremendous courage.

“What surprises me more than anything is why other priests don’t speak out. It is not as if they don’t know about it.” Coodham, which can be seen from the A77 at the Bogend Toll, was sold by the Catholic order in the 1980’s and has now been converted into luxury homes by a developer.