“We pray that one day we will have enough priests of our own and do not have to depend on Irish priests”.
A quote from Archbishop John A Murphy during his sermon at the Chrism Mass at Cardiff Cathedral in the mid 1970s.
I was there – as a newly ordained Irish priest for Cardiff.
Murphy was obviously of Irish extraction and often they were the worst.
My first PP in Bridgend was another Irish hater with an Irish name – Bernard Driscoll.
When he met me at the airport I accidentally called him Father O Driscoll. He answered: “Drop the f….. O sonny”.
He made my life in the presbytery a living hell:
I was not allowed any visitors.
I had to be in bed by 9 pm.
He chose what I ate and how much.
I was chaplain to the local general hospital but was not allowed to visit the maternity ward because “you Irish have fantasies about pregnant bellies”.
During our meals he repeated the words ” Dirty Dublin, dirty Dublin, dirty Dublin …….”
He paid me £ 5 a week which wasn’t much even in 1976.
After spending three months with him I became very depressed.
Murphy sent me to a psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist wrote that I was perfectly normal and needed a new appointment.
Murphy threw the psychiatrist’s letter in the bin.
I brought it to a head by taking the ferry to Ireland.
Eventually Murphy gave me a second parish.
My second PP was Irish. I was very happy there even though the PP and housekeeper had alcohol and “other” problems.
After a year a scandal involving the PP broke.
There was a new, young PP.
I was moved to a Canon Creed in Cardiff who was just like Driscoll.
At that stage I shook the dust of Wales off my feet and took refuge in the Emerald Isle.
During my time in Wales I listened to many priests recount their sufferings in English and Welsh presbyteries.
It was a great pity.
I absolutely loved the Welsh people and they treated me wonderfully.
Wales was hell because of the anti Irish bishops and priests.