A retired Irish Catholic Priest is facing child sex abuse charges relating to four children between 1972 and 1987 in Australia.

The Brisbane Times reports that Father Finian Egan (77) arrived at Ryde police station on Tuesday morning by appointment. Police began their investigation in 2010 following complaints that he had abused five children up to four decades ago. The former priest was a close friend of the New South Wales Attorney-General, Greg Smith.

Police confirmed that the Irish native now faces 16 counts of indecent assault and one count of rape, all relating to alleged assaults while he was a priest in Sydney and the Central Coast.

Two of his female victims were waiting outside the police station when the elderly man arrived.

One of the women, Nikki Wells, told reporters that she did not think this day would ever come.

"It's been 33 years in the making; it's been the majority of my life that I've been waiting for this day," she said.

"The last four years I've been advocating for his arrest. It was such a relief to see him walk into the station."

“It's a relief,” said Kellie Roche, an abuse victim. “For me it's like... it's finally... it's something's happening. Something legal is starting.

The Brisbane Times reports to the alleged assaults of an 11-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl at Carlingford in 1979 and 1987 and a 17-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy at The Entrance in 1972 and 1973.

Egan was granted conditional bail and is due to appear in Ryde Local Court on May 23.

Watch sexual abuse complainant, Nikki Wells react to the charges below:

Fr Finian Egan arriving at the police station on Tuesday morningGoogle Images