My experience with Dublin has been as perfect as I can imagine.The data officer, Noelle Dowling has been the essence professionalism, courtesy and efficiency. She is the kind of data officer every diocese should have.In addition Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who has been personally involved in my request has shown total transparency and integrity.Because Clonliffe seminary minutes are held in bound volumes they are not covered by GDPR regulations.But Diarmuid Martin instructed Noelle to send ne them anyway.Here is transparency beyond the letter of the law and embracing the spirit of the law. I sent DM the following email today:
Noelle Dowling, on your instructions, sent me a transcript of the Clonliffe seminary Council meetings where I was mentioned even though bound volumes are not covered by GDPR.
I want to thank you for your total transparency in these matters
If course I had already come to the conclusion of your transparency and integrity on the basis of your handing over of the diocesan abuse files to the courts and on your handling of the Maynooth and Irish College issues.
But I do need to thank you.
Mind you, reading those minutes made me cringe at my immaturity at the time. My only consolation is that you would expect 1970 18 / 19 year olds to be immature.
Importantly to me,I was pleased that the Clonliffe president Bishop Joe Carroll reported that morally, I was beyond reproach.
Now that I have all the information I have I can understand that my expulsion from Clonliffe was done in good faith.
For 47 years I did not know the reasons for my expulsion from Clonliffe. Today I do.I was expelled because they felt I was immature. They saw this immaturity in me showing itself in me giving spiritual advice to younger seminarians, reporting homosexuality in a youth club I had a placement in and not observing house rules. It also seemed that there were a small number of senior seminarians who regarded me as unsuitable to be involved in open vocation days.At the time there were 120 of us in Clonliffe. Seminarians were ten a penny and one or two were expelled every year in order to straighten up the troops. The other fellow expelled with me that year was expelled for being too pious.Anyway, I believe in Providence and therefore I believe that God had a part in it all. God knows what I would have become if I stayed in the RCC?And its better to be expelled for giving spiritual guidance to the 1st years than being kept in and taking the 1st years to bed!
WATERFORDI applied to Phonsie’s data officer Michelle O’Riordan.Surprisingly for me, Phonsie’s girl also operated transparency and I got my whole file from St. John’s College Waterford – 1973 – 1976.The file is very positive and of course I got on well there and was put forward for ordination.There was a glowing report from the PP in Cardiff I had done my diaconate placement with – Canon Philip Dwyer.
Page 3 – pic not uploading”priests of today are doing their best to do away with the collar and appear in all kinds of fancy clothing, some go as far as saying the collar will be done away with all together. Pat Buckley is not of this opinion and this tradition should be emphasised to him in his final months with you”
My email to Phonsie
Dear Phonsie,I doubt if you and I will ever be on each others Christmas card lists.But I wanted to commend and thank you for the transparency I experienced when I applied to your data protection officer when I applied for my stored data at Waterford.My years in Waterford and St John’s were among the happiest of my life.John Shine was one of the best friends I ever had.Pat
DOWN AND CONNOR
SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST REFERENCE: DP/SAR/B1/19I confirm that we have carried out a search within the Diocesan records and archives and I have endeavoured to identify information held which directly or indirectly relates to you and therefore, may fall within the remit of a subject access request. I have prepared the following table to summarise my enquiries: –
Dear Data Access,
I am happy to receive the documents from section one scanned.
I have received all.my data from two other Irish diocese and they contained all my correspondence with the bishop and archbishop!
Can I ask you for FULL disclosure please?
I reserve the right to appeal to the Data Commioner.
Bishop Pat Buckley