Bishop Francis Lagan, the retired auxiliary bishop of Derry passed away recently.

In the 1980‘s he was the parish priest of Creggan, Derry.

On one occasion he caught his curate ( a monk) naked in bed with a 10 year old little girl.

What did Lagan do?

Call the police?

Call social services?

No, he put the little girl’s clothes back on her, let her out a window and told her to go home.

Former cleric jailed for child sex abuse two decades ago is cleared of further charges

09 December, 2014 00:00

A FORMER priest jailed for sexually abusing children in Derry 20 years ago was found not guilty of further charges yesterday after prosecutors offered no evidence.

Gerard John McCallion (66) had been due to go on trial at Derry Crown Court accused of three
counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency on a boy under 12.

The charges dated back to 1987/88, when the Cistercsan monk had been on loan to the parish of St Mary’s in the Creggan area as a curate.
McCallion was defrocked in the 1990s when his abuse came to light after he was discovered in bed with a 10-year-old girl in the Creggan parochial house.

Described by a judge as a “sexual parasite”, he was jailed for two years after admitting nine indecent assault charges involving three primary school girls and given a suspended sentence for indecently assaulting a young woman while she was in bed at Altnagelvin Hospital with a kidney infection.

In 1998 at Letterkenny Circuit Court he also admitted indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl at a house in his home town of Lifford.

After a jury was sworn in to hear the latest charges yesterday, a prosecution barrister told the court that the prosecution would be offering no evidence against the defendant, whose address was given as Ballynally, Iniscarragh in Co Cork.

Judge Philip Babington directed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict and told McCallion he was free to go.

Gareth O’Callaghan. Facebook.

If evil could be given a name, it would be called Father Bill Carney. The former priest was possibly the most dangerous paedophile of his generation and his trail of destruction will resonate for decades to come, such are the broken lives he has left in his wake. I must advise that this post does not make for easy reading. That said again, it needs to be written.

Carney masterminded and managed one of the most evil clerical paedophile gangs in the Dublin diocese in the 1970s and 1980s. There were at least five of his fellow priests who connived and shared information, swapping their victims freely and at random within the gang and beyond. The five main players were: Carney, Francis McCarthy, Harry Moore, Tony Walsh, and Patrick Maguire.

Others included Donal Gallagher, Gus Griffin, Tom Naughton, John Boland, Noel Reynolds, and James McNamee (who built a swimming pool in the back garden of his house when he was parish priest of Crumlin with the specific intention of abusing young boys).

Bill Carney first met Francis McCarthy when they were both studying for the priesthood at Clonliffe College, in Dublin. They were the same age, late teens, when they started their mission to abuse young children. During his final year in college, Carney became friends with James Kavanagh who had just been appointed as auxiliary bishop in Dublin in 1973. Carney had officiated as a deacon at Kavanagh’s inauguration as bishop.

Carney and McCarthy were ordained in 1974. The two paedophiles were now free to roam the diocese as priests. They wasted no time in starting their long, destructive 30-year trail of child abuse and human destruction. For the purpose of this post today I am going to keep the focus on Carney who, for generations to come, will be regarded as a monster who cleverly exploited the corruption of the State at that time to get away with his crimes.

Carney was appointed as chaplain to a number of schools following his ordination because, he explained to his bishop, he was “interested in childcare”, and worked “best with the unintelligent”. Long before his ordination, unknown to the church authorities, Carney was a serial child abuser. Not that they would have cared.

It took almost ten years, until 1983, before Carney came under the investigative spotlight of the gardai. The parents of a young boy gave statements at Whitehall garda station on Dublin’s northside. Carney was sexually abusing their son. The boy’s father wanted action taken urgently. Carney at that time was a curate in Ayrfield. The bishop with responsibility for the area was none other than James Kavanagh, Carney’s close friend. The chief superintendent with policing responsibility in that area of Dublin based in Whitehall garda station was senior garda Maurice O’Connor, who ironically was a friend of Bishop James Kavanagh!

Bishop Kavanagh dropped into Chief Supt O’Connor’s office one afternoon during this time for a chat. It was something he did quite often. On this occasion, Supt O’Connor informed the bishop that Carney was under investigation for inappropriate behaviour involving a young boy. Kavanagh asked O’Connor if he could “do anything” in Carney’s support. O’Connor told the senior bishop that it was “unlikely” the charges against Carney would succeed and there was most likely little to worry about.

In other words, it was the “I’ll look after it for you” attitude that was prevalent in the way justice was (and still is) so often misled in Ireland.

Luckily, a young garda called Garland was already investigating the case and managed to drive it through to a successful conclusion in favour of the young boy. That conclusion would take many years; and consequently a long time before Carney would be stopped in his tracks. But clearly during those intervening years, in the eyes of his clerical peers, Carney was still suitable to perform his duties as a priest in Dublin parishes.

(I often wonder how many of his colleagues knew about what he was doing but said nothing. I would hazard a guess here and say that there must have been quite a few.)

In the years that followed Bill Carney was moved through and around four different Dublin parishes where he continued to abuse children at will without any prevention from the church or the law.

Carney was also targeting residential homes around the city that housed orphaned and troubled children, including St Josephs in Dun Laoghaire, the Grange Home, also in Dun Laoghaire, and Lakelands Home in Stillorgan. He would bring small groups of these children back to his house for weekends (wherever he was based). He would then dose the children with alcohol that he had added to their bottles of minerals and rape and abuse them. He abused children from at least eight different refuge homes around the city.

His colleagues (mentioned above) would often call in over the weekends to avail of the opportunities. Few people on the outside could understand why Bishop James Kavanagh continued to have a “soft spot” for a psychopathic abuser who was clearly out of control. Kavanagh continued to support him where and when he could.

If Bill Carney had not been named in the Murphy Report in 2009, he would have remained invisible right up until his death last September.

His victims believe, and rightfully so, that the Catholic church kept Bill Carney invisible and immune for all of those years that he “disappeared off the face of the earth” once it became clear what he had been getting away with for almost forty years.

In the end, it took a reporter from BBC’s Newsnight programme to find him in early 2010. Olenka Frenkiel’s seach for Bill Carney led her to Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands. She eventually found him. As she said herself, it wasn’t that hard to find him.

(If that’s the case, then why weren’t the Irish government and the gardai actively searching for him? Remember – this is only seven years ago.) 

He had an apartment in a holiday resort that was very popular with Irish families. Carney would sit watching the beach most days, small children who played together unaware that they were being watched by one of the most evil predators this country has ever known.

Olenka confronted Carney in Lanzarote and asked for his reaction to the Murphy Report. Carney told her (on camera) that he hadn’t read it. This is despite the fact that he was clearly one of its main protagonists. Olenka presented him with a copy and then met him again some time later. “No comment” was his reaction to her original question – with that hiddeous, evil smirk that Carney was famous for.

Olenka Frenkiel confronted Archbishop Diarmuid Martin some weeks later as he left a church ceremony in Dublin, in the aftermath of the Murphy Report. Martin told her to “give forward” all the information she had. She then alerted the gardai here as to Carney’s precise location in the Canary Islands. Diarmuid Martin claimed during this confrontation that the gardai knew where Carney was. Clearly they didn’t because local police in Lanzarote had no idea who Carney was, considering he had been living on their doorstep for years.

As Olenka Frenkiel said at the end of her BBC Newsnight report, “if they [gardai] were really looking for him, he wasn’t hard to find”. So why weren’t the Irish gardai looking for Carney? It took Olenka Frenkiel to tell them where he was. Why weren’t they listening to his victims when even they knew where he was?

It was only in recent times that I found out why a senior bishop would continue to support a child abuser like Bill Carney who could have been stopped in his tracks and shut down almost forty years ago, but instead was allowed to continue his abuse on an epic scale.

It becomes obvious when you consider the identities of those individuals who regularly called into Bill Carney’s house on those Sunday afternoons in the 1980s while he was throwing “parties” and abusing small children in his care. You also have to wonder why the gardai never intervened in these strange arrangements that he had with the people who ran the orphanages and homes where these children resided during the week.

One of the individuals who called into Bill Carney’s house very regularly on those Sunday afternoons was none other than Bishop James Kavanagh.


The whole Derry / Lagan thing is shocking.

The whoow Dublin / Carney / McCarthy thing is even more shocking.

What was going on in Clonliffe that three predators were ordained in the one year – 1974 ‘ Carney / McCarthy and Meldon?


They are not getting away with covering up for child abuse.


They are still getting away with covering up for out of control seminarians, priests and bishops.

The only consolation is that the victims are 18+ and not < 18

But is that still ok ???