Denis Cairns

Bishop found there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to support claims dating back 28 years

Donna Deeney Belfast Telegraph. October 28 2020

A man who alleges he was abused by a priest in Londonderry 28 years ago has criticised the Catholic Church’s investigation.

Denis Cairns was just 13 years old when he claims he was abused by a priest attached to the Nottingham diocese.

He has now received a letter from the Bishop of Nottingham, Patrick McKinney, in which the Bishop said he was “unable to reach the required moral certainty” demanded of him after considering the evidence from Mr Cairns and the priest at the centre of his allegation.

Bishop McKinney said: “It is the case that it was impossible to discern the degree of proof that is required, therefore I have decreed that due to insufficient or conflicting evidence no penalty can be applied to (named priest).”

Mr Cairns reported his alleged abuse to the then RUC in 1997, when a file was sent to the PPS. It did not pursue a prosecution on the grounds that it was Mr Cairns’ word against that of the priest he alleged abused him.

He reported his allegation to the Derry Diocese and in 2002 to Nottingham Diocese, when the priest was “monitored” and “supervised” for two years but not removed from his church duties.

Mr Cairns was never interviewed by anyone from the Nottingham Diocese as part of this investigation, nor was he even aware of it until years later.

He raised his allegation with Nottingham Diocese again in 2019, when a preliminary investigation was carried out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. The investigators concluded there was grounds for a full canonical investigation.

Mr Cairns said this should have been completely independent from the Diocese of Nottingham and now wants the matter referred to the Vatican.
Mr Cairns said Nottingham Diocese had been vocal in its public support for the priest at the centre of his allegation.

“This priest left his Nottingham parish a few months before the start of the canonical investigation because he was diagnosed with cancer,” he said.

“In a letter to the priest’s congregation in Nottingham informing them of this investigation, Bishop McKinney said that ‘it may seem cruel’ to begin an investigation of a priest who is seriously ill. He also allowed a request to parishioners to pray for my abuser to appear in the church newsletter every week despite me telling him many, many times how much anguish this caused me.

“I told my story to the Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, who then recommended me as the perfect person to represent victims of clerical sex abuse to speak to Archbishop Eamon Martin ahead of his attendance at a summit in Rome on clerical abuse. I did that and after talking to Archbishop Martin, he told me he would personally deliver a letter I had outlining my abuse and all the pain, anguish and trauma I have lived through since that time that I wrote to the Pope.

“It is documented on a file held by the Derry Diocese that Bishop McKeown believes me and that Archbishop Eamon Martin believes me and yet the Bishop of Nottingham is unable to come to a conclusion because of insufficient evidence.
“To me that is proof enough that this matter needs to be taken out of Bishop McKinney’s hands and taken to the Vatican.”

Belfast priest Fr Paddy McCafferty, who has been supporting Mr Cairns, said the investigation should have already been referred to the Vatican under an Order put in place in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Fr McCafferty said: “Since April 2001 an Order known as the Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela Edict instructed that all allegations of abuse of minors were to be referred to Rome so it wasn’t just Bishops making decisions.

“Generally Rome’s test will be ‘semblance of truth’ which I believe Denis has clearly shown.

“He has been consistent all these years since he first reported it when he was 18 – whether he was telling his story to me, Bishop McKeown, Archbishop Martin, Bishop McKinney and the canonical lawyers who took his evidence for the investigation. This investigation should have been referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for a final decision – not left to the Bishop of Nottingham.”

In a statement to this paper, a spokesman for Nottingham Diocese said: “The investigation has now concluded, and the case has been examined by the Bishop of Nottingham, Rt Rev Patrick McKinney, with the assistance of two assessors, canon lawyers who have many years of experience in examining these matters.

“Having carefully examined the allegation and all the evidence before them, both lack of evidence and conflicting evidence meant that they were unable to reach moral certainty that the priest had done what he had been accused of, and so he was found not guilty.”


I’m afraid poor Denis has experienced what many poor victims have experienced at the hands of the RCC.

They have been given the run around.

Donal McKeown of Derry is an ass hole.

He wasn’t always an ass hole.

But he has sold his soul to the institution.

You give them you soul.

They give you a mitre.

To paraphrase Thomas Moore’s statement:

“What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul – but for Derry”.


This blog remains focused on the goings on in the above three monasteries and their abbots, priors and monks.

The Irish monastic scene is about to explode.



These stories add to the thousands of others we have had to read about and listen to.

But we must never forget that each single one of these victims have had their whole lives ruined.

And many others have actually taken their own lives.

Pope Francis should make audiences with him available to the abused on a country by country basis.

In my experience of dealing with victims its very important to them to be:

A. Listened to.

B. Believed.

The fact that the pope himself met them and really listened to them would mean a great deal to them.

Bit Francis needs to go further.

He needs to dismiss from the priesthood not only the abusers themselves but the religious superiors and bishops who cover up.



Robert Hourigan


07488 374364



The Irish Government were quite right to reject the bishops request to reopen churches for Mass.

Of course, for us Catholic Christians Mass and the sacraments are very important sources of God’s grace.

But God is not limited to the sacraments in providing his grace.

In fact Jesus not only told us that where two or three gathered he would be with them but went on to tell us that the best way to pray was to lock ourselves into our room and pray to our Father who is in that secret place.

Everything has changed with this awful pandemic and for now our spiritual lives have to change as well.

The home should ideally the cradle of the faith – although we realise that was probably never true.

The faith has been passed on mainly by the schools.

But perhaps now is a time to bring the faith back home – by the reading of the Bible, prayers like the Risary etc.

Many people also suspect that the bishops and priests want the people back because they are missing the money?

Many people may not return to church again?

Gatherings of people cause Covid to spread.

Church services are gathering of people.

The government must protect lives and health.

And these days the “purple parliament” of Maynooth have no power – thank God 😃



Robert Hourigan


07488 374364



Before Richard Purcell was elected Abbot of Mount Mellary he was abbot of Roscrea – where the Cistercians have a very prominent and wealthy college.


We know from Abbot General Eamon Fitzgerald that there was at least one homosexual incident involving Richard Purcell in Roscrea. The incident we know about was sex with a Killaloe priest in Roscrea kitchen.

Now, if that got out I imagine the parents of the school might have a problem with their school patron – Richard Purcell – being their patron.

It might also affect school enrollment and as such, school income / turnover.

Was there a very great interest in the Cistercians having Purcell moved on?

Generally, a monastery chooses one of their own monks to be abbot.

There are occasional exceptions.

But we ask if there was a special reason to move Purcell from Roscrea to Mount Mellary?

Were the bishops of Killaloe and Waterford consulted in these matters?

This is just one of the many questions dogging the Purcell case at present.

Does Purcell have too much stuff on others – priests, bishops or Cistercians?

To use Diarmuid Martin’s words – ” strange goings on”.


Robert Hourigan


07488 374364



Baby Elijah

Abbots Coffey and Purcell exhaled a hugh sigh of relief as they disengaged with Silverstream Prior in the last few days.


Because of Silverstream Glenstal and Mount Mellary have come under the microscope- mainly connected to homosexuality.

Former abbot Gregory Collins described Glenstal as a gay community.

And Richard Purcell came under investigation for his sexual activities.

Lugs and Purcell

The situations in Glenstal and Mount Mellary are, and will be ongoing.


The new prior, Elijah is only 32.

He was recruited from Kirby’s old haunt of Tulsa.

He is not even a deacon.

He has not finished his studies for the priesthood.

He has health issues.

And bullying issues.

Will Mark Kirby give obedience to a man more than 36 years his junior?

Will there be conflict between the two?

The money issue is still outstanding.

A Baby Prior would find it difficult to manage a well run monastery.

And impossible to manage one that is mired in scandal and suspicion.

There is a theory going about that the appointment of this young inexperienced prior is deliberate – and will lead to the collapse of Silverstrwam.

That is an old RCC tactic – Give to Kill.


In the meantime back to Richard Purcell and the Cyst-tersians.


Robert Hourigan


07488 374364



Another man has come forward to say that he met Richard Purcell in a well known gay haunt.

He is willing to swear an affidavit to the effect.

The previous witnesses have been a diocesan priest and a former Maynooth seminarian.

Anyone wishing to make an affidavit will be put in touch with a notary who is willing to act “pro bono” – without charge.

Any affidavit will be reviewed by a senior barrister.

This is because these lay lawyers love the Church and want it cleaned.

The other aspect is that the maker of the affidavit can remain anonymous and only known to the notary.


This issue is not about gay people or gay sex.

Ot it about the hypocrisy of a man with solemn vows and with a senior position in the Church being a total hypocrite.

It also calls into question both the faith and the spirituality of the individual.

Such a person is totally unsuitable to guide souls.


Robert Hourigan

Bishop Pat

07488 374364


Dear Eamon,

I am very disappointed that you and your council appear to have done nothing with regard Richard Purcell.

A number of us have now engaged the services of civil and canon lawyers and intend to bring a case to the Roman authorities.

We do this regretfully and would have preferred the order to have handled it internally.

Sincerely yours,

+ Pat Buckley

Sent from Outlook Email App for Android



10,395 readers



We are now seeing very serious questions being asked about three Irish monasteries:

SILVERSTREAM in Meath diocese.


GLENSTAL Cashel and Emily.


MOUNT MELLARY in Waterford and Lismore.

Mount Mellary

There are sexual accusations against two superiors:

Mark Kirby – the former Prior of Silverstream.


Richard Purcell – the current abbot of Mount Mellary.


The most serious allegations are made against Richard Purcell.

His Abbot General revealed to me sexual problems he had in Roscrea.

Abbot General Eamon

Richard Purcell should immediately step down as abbot.

If he wants to brazen it out then the abbot General and his council in Rome should depose Purcell.

This blog will keep readers updated about all developments in all three monasteries.



New information is emerging about ex abbot Collins time in Jerusalem.

The informations is leading to suspicions about behaviour that caused a monastery in Jerusalem to have damning graffiti written on its walls and a real fear by the Israeli police that the monastery could be attacked or burned.

This turned into some type if a threat of international relations between the Vatican and Israel being affected?


The Blog in association with very concerned others is asking priests or people with information with regard to the sexual allegations with regard Richard Purcell to come forward – for the Good of the Church and Mount Mellary.

I understand, that for various reasons people might not wish to approach me.

In that event they can approach Mr Robert Hourigan who has no association with me in any way.

Mr Hourigan and his family had a long history of involvement with Mount Mellary and had relations who lived and died as monks there.

Mt Hourigan, a practising Catholic, with a loyalty to his church, can be contacted on:

I can be contacted on

07488 374364

0044 7488 374364



Tabernacle Dom

We can thank Mark Tabernacle Kirby of Silverstream for the current exposure if Ireland’s gay abbots and abbeys.

Kirby”s sexual overtures towards one of his monks, over a ten year period, was absolutely inappropriate and makes no sense of his ridiculous claims that Jesus speaks to him from the Tabernacle.

If Jesus was speaking to Kirby from the Tabernacle he would say to him:

“Stoping coming on to your monks and stop showing them your John Thomas”.

Ater ten years of enduring Kirby’s antics the monks finally had enough and made a formal complaint to the monasteries ecclesiastical superior, the Bishop of Meath.

The Bishop, Denihan, appointed three visitors – Coffey the abbot of Glenstal, Purcell the abbot of Mount Mellary and a Cork monsignor.

The complaining monks made sworn statements and an affidavit.

We are not at the stage whereby the monks was sent from the monastery and Kirby was taken back as an ordinary monk.

Objective observers are now persuaded that the visitors and Deenihan have decided to save Kirby’s skin and offload the complaining monks – in other words do the normal RC cover up job.



Purcell has been accused of being homosexually active with other men – religious and lay-AND of having visited the gay Boiler House Sauna in Dublin.

His abbot General has told that he had a homosexual problem in his previous monastery – Roscrea.

People are now calling for his resignation or deposition.

We are awaiting the outcome.

Purcell is now collateral damage of the Kirby scandal.


The homoerotic spotlight is now on Glenstall.



A Glenstall monks was appointed the abbot of the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem.

But Collins didn’t keep his whistle clean.

Below is an affidavit sworn as part of Collins’ resignation as abbot in Jerusalem which is with the Congregation for Religious

‘I, the undersigned xxxxx xxxxx, born 13th May 1977 in Cadca (Slovak Republic residing in Rome Piazza San Pancras 13 hereby declare

In his last year of teaching at the Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselms (2007/2008).

Father Gregory Collins, in one our talks informed me of his intimate relationship with Brother Ephraim Huser OSB. By the end of the academic year Brother Huser had left religious life and Father Gregory went back to his monastery Glenstal.

I met with Patrick Huser, ( the civil name of Brother Ephraim) in November 2015. He referred to Father Gregory Collins as his “ex boyfriend”. Patrick Huser declared his homosexuality many times in the past in front of other Sant Anselmo residents.

Father Gregory Collins also told me about the gay community at the Glenstal Abbey. According to Father Gregory, when he asked to join the monastery, Father Henry O’Shea, who was then the novice master was “delighted when he learned about Father Gregory’s sexual orientation.

I later relayed this information to Father xxxx xxxxxxx OSB whom I have known personally for 16 years, in as much as I worked at Sant Anselmo as his assistant.

This is a true and correct statement of the facts and events related herein.

Xxxxx xxxxx

However it does appear that other matters featured in the resignation of Gregory Collins that involved the Israeli police.



Collins is now left Glenstal and indeed the RCC and is now an Anglican vicar in the very gay friendly diocese of Chichester.


Nude Biblical images by Glenstal monk are banned by Facebook

‘We don’t allow ads with content that features sexually suggestive posturing ’

The Good Thief, by artist turned monk Br Emmaus, features in Glenstal Abbey – Through the Seasons

Patsy McGarry

Tue, Oct 8, 2019, 14:23

Facebook has banned a post advertising a new book from the monks at Glenstal Abbey in Co Limerick because of nudity in illustrations of the Good Thief crucified with Christ, and of the Archangel Michael.

A spokeswoman for Columba Books, which is publishing Glenstal Abbey – Through the Seasons, said the images had been “deemed ‘too sexual’ by Facebook and against their policies”.

However nude images of the Good Thief from the book have been posted by the Irish Catholic newspaper on its Facebook page. A caption accompanying the images reads: “Nude paintings in a monastery library? The IC (Irish Catholic) can exclusively reveal that a new book on #GlenstalAbbey from Columba Books features nude paintings called ‘The Good Thief’. Is it appropriate to hang on the walls of a library within an Abbey? You decide!”

Columba Books and the Irish Catholic are both owned by Grace Communications.

Giving its reason to Columba Books for rejecting the advertisement, Facebook said: “The ad isn’t running because it doesn’t follow our Advertising Policies which apply to an ad’s content, its audience, and the destination it links to. We don’t allow ads that feature people with excessive skin visible.”

Mark Zuckerberg claims Facebook stands for free expression

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Zuckerberg emails ‘good evidence’ for Irish Facebook inquiry

It recommended “using content that focuses on your product or service rather than the model.”

Columba Books responded: “The ‘nudity’ in question is art pieces from a Benedictine monk at Glenstal Abbey. It’s art! Not a photo, does not feature a real person, and has been shared with permission.”

In a further response, headlined, “Here’s what’s preventing your ad from running,” Facebook said, under the heading “Image” that: “We don’t allow ads with content that features sexually suggestive posturing or that shows a lot of skin (even if it’s for an artistic or education reason) because of their highly sensitive nature. I suggest you have a look at our Advertising Policies for more details, including some do’s and don’t s.”

This it repeated under two further headings “Leading Page” and “The reason behind our policies.”

The images are by artist turned monk Br Emmaus, whose larger than life nude paintings adorn Glenstal’s library wall. Br Emmaus says he renders the human figure naked “to follow the naked Christ.”

In the book, Br Emmaus says: “Prior to my solemn profession at Glenstal Abbey in 2014, I worked as a graphic designer in Los Angeles, USA, for ten years after receiving my BDes from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

“Currently a student of the University of St Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, Canada, I am about to enter my third year of doctrinal studies. My area of research concerns questions involving the need for contemporary liturgical art to adapt Christian iconography in terms of postmodern recontextualisation.”

He says: “In rendering the human figure naked ‘to follow the naked Christ’, these paintings, like the Benedictine commitment to a life of daily conversion, echo the challenge to emulate the paupertas, nuditas, et humilitas Christi (the poverty, vulnerability, and humility of Christ) and become, in ourselves, transparent images of the God who made us.”



1. If Collins resigned as abbot over sexual misbehaviour Purcell should follow the precedent?

2. What is this about the “GAY COMMUNITY AT GLENSTAL that Collins is speaking.

3. Is it all a gay community?

4. Or is there a gay community within the general community?

5. Why the need for homoerotic paintings in Glenstal?

6. Glenstal happier to receive homosexual novices than heterosexual novices?


Should Brendan Coffey of Glenstal resign too?




By Delia Gallagher and Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN)Pope Francis has declared support for civil unions for same-sex couples for the first time, according to the Catholic News Agency.

The Pope made the historic remarks in “Francesco,” a new documentary film directed by Russian filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, that premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” the Pope said in the film, the Catholic News Agency reported.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the Pope said.

The film also explores the Pope’s work and views in other issues, including climate change, migration and economic equality, according to the film’s website. It is set to premiere in North America on Sunday during the SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

Francis has suggested in past interviews that he is not against civil unions, but this is the first time as Pope that he has directly come out in favor of them.

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis advocated for same-sex civil unions as an alternative when Argentina was discussing whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

Francis’ comments differ from his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who made the news when he labeled homosexuality “an intrinsic moral evil.”

Jesuit Father James Martin, who has advocated for the church to welcome LGBTQ people, said bishops from many countries, including some in the United States and Poland, who are “violently against” civil unions will have to rethink their positions.

“He’s creating a new space for LGBT people … He’s saying it on the record and he’s being very clear. It’s not simply that he’s tolerating it — he’s supporting it,” Martin told CNN’s Christine Amanpour on Wednesday.

In the US, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, asked for more clarification, saying the Francis’ comments contradict the church’s teachings on same-sex unions.

“The Church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships,” Thomas said in a statement. “Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and must have their personal human rights and civil rights recognized and protected by law. However, the legalization of their civil unions, which seek to simulate holy matrimony, is not admissible.”

Ed Mechmann, director of public policy for the Archidiocese of New York, described the Pope’s comments as a serious mistake that can lead to a lot of confusion.

“In this case, I think we have to recognize that the Holy Father has plainly erred,”

Mechmann wrote in a blog post. “Catholics cannot promote the legalization of same-sex unions. But we also have to be clear that he isn’t changing the teaching of the Church on homosexuality or same-sex unions in any way.”


Francis is not supporting Christian or Catholic marriages for gay couples.

He is merely saying that such couples have the legal and civil right to have their relationship recognised in their country’s laws.

And most modern democracies give couples this right.

Personally, I have always believed that the Church should bless these unions.

Can a same sex marriage be sacramental? Yes it can.

“Wherever there is live, there is God”.

I have been blessing gay couples for over 30 years.

And now I can perform legal weddings for gay couples north and south of the Irish border.

Personally I am a bit uncomfortable with people calling themselves two “husbands”.

I am in a civil partnership since 2020.

I refer to my partner as my partner.





1. Who was the Glenstal priest that became Abbot of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem?

2. What were the circumstances of that priest having to resign as abbot and leave Jerusalem?

3. Were the Israeli police and the CDF involved and did it involve sexual matters?

4. . Did that priest return to Glenstal when he left Jerusalem?

5. Was that priest later given a reference by Glenstal to become a priest of the Church of England in the diocese of Chichester?

6 Was that reference written by you or your predecessor as abbot?

7. Did you appoint a junior monk from the African continent as your secretary.

7. Is that monk still in Glenstal?

8. Did monks of Glenstall drive a junior monk on a regular basis to receive spiritual direction from Richard Purcell OCSO?


1. Have you presided over the return of Mark Kirby as a choir monk of Silverstream?

2. In view of all the information you have been given are you claiming not to be aware of Mark Kirby’s sexual behaviours?

3. Are you aware of the accusation that Mark Kirby paid a sum of money to an external worker at Silverstream in a bid to stop him revealing what he witnessed?

4. Are you aware that Mark Kirby kept a large drawer of cash in his office that he handed out wily nily?

5. Are you calling the former monk of Silverstream a liar when he complained of Kirby’s inappropriate behaviour towards him and geave financial mismanagement?

6. Do you stand over the decision to ask the whistleblower monk to leave his home of ten years DURING A PANDEMIC?

7 Is it appropriate for Mark Kirby to be living with a group of young men?

8. Is Richard Purcell srill on Silverstreamvisitation panel?

I’m quite sure you will not answer these question for me.

But I wanted to make readers aware of these important questions.

I am asking these questions on the basis of information and documentation in my possession.

So, I may have to answer the questions on your behalf.