In his February statement Bishop McAreavey described Finnegan's actions as "abhorrent, inexcusable and indefensible."
"We speak about abuse cases as being historical, but we must never lose sight of the reality that the legacy of abuse lives on for victims and for them it is all too present. I ask you to pray for them and their families," he added, also encouraging anyone who thinks they may have been abused in a church context to come forward in order to receive support.
Upon the announcement of McAreavey's resignation March 26, Archbishop Eamon Martin, head of the Irish bishops' conference, issued a statement acknowledging his 19 years of service as a bishop and his "generous contribution" to the local bishops' conference, both as a member and as president.
"As the bishops stated following their Spring 2018 general meeting earlier this month, the Church can never become complacent concerning the safeguarding of children," he said, noting that the Church is committed to the review process of dioceses and to cooperation with any inquiries by authorities.
Martin also stated that his prayers are with "the people, religious and clergy of Dromore and in particular with all who are suffering because of abuse."
McAreavey was born in Drumnagally, Banbridge in 1949. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Dromore in June 1973 and received a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1978.
While a priest he taught at St. Coleman's College and St. Patrick's College. He also served on the Armagh Regional Marriage Tribunal and has written extensively on Church law.
Pope St. John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Dromore in June 1999.