A paedophile priest jailed for abusing young boys in Irvine is to be defrocked by the Catholic Church.

Paul Moore is to be stripped of his priest status after being found guilty of historic sexual abuse of three young boys.

The decision means the 82-year-old, who is behind bars for eight years, will no longer be able to call himself “father” or offer spiritual care.

The process, known as laicisation, comes after Moore’s conviction for the crimes committed in Ayrshire more than 40 years ago. One of his victims was just five-years-old when he was abused on Irvine Beach by Moore.

The sick priest was also known to take his victims swimming to the Magnum, Leisure Centre and some were even assaulted in St Mark’s Primary by Moore.

Catholic Church sources said the disciplinary action had been delayed untilthe outcome of Moore’s appeal, which was heard in December 2018.

At the appeal Moore won the right to have his sentence reduced by one year, but his conviction for offences against boys between 1977-81 remained.

Currently Moore’s name appears among retired clergy in the Galloway Diocese published in the 2019 edition of the Catholic Directory for Scotland, listed above school chaplains.

During the trial Bishop Maurice Taylor, 91, gave evidence in his trial and told the court Moore admitted he had “an attraction to young boys” and “a desire to abuse minors”.

The bishop admitted to sending him to a treatment centre in Toronto and to Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands.

The church say there is no appeal against laicisation in cases where a priest has been convicted of child sex abuse.

The decision means the Church will no longer have any responsibility to provide Moore with housing, medical care or financial benefits when he is released from prison.

After he was jailed, the Catholic Church in Scotland said it wished to “sincerely renew” its apologies to victims.