The Matt Talbot Adolescent Service treats 200 young addicts a year in Munster — but an ongoing HSE review may jeopardise its funding and its work, says Michael Clifford.
MICHAEL CLIFFORD The Irish Examiner.
The Matt Talbot Adolescent Service treats 200 young addicts a year in Munster — but an ongoing HSE review may jeopardise its funding and its work, says Michael Clifford.
The treatment of addiction is highly complex, and doubly so when the addiction afflicts young people.
To that extent, the Matt Talbot Adolescent Service does invaluable work in the Munster region. The MTAS treats over 200 teenagers and young adults every year for addiction and related problems.
The service includes day care and educational facilities, and a residential centre that is one of the very few in the country to provide a service for adolescents.
Outwardly, the organisation has attracted many plaudits. Behind the walls of its three centres in Cork City and West Cork however, there has been much unhappiness from a growing number of employees about culture, practice and the effect this is having on clients.
The MTAS mission statement lays out its priorities. “Our belief is that the welfare of the young person in paramount; and in the dignity of all young people urges us to embrace a holistic approach and to seek to realise their full intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, cultural, and physical potential.
“We endeavour to ensure that the welfare of staff is paramount in relation to their working environment.”
An investigation by the Irish Examiner has established that a number of staff in MTAS, HSE personnel, and others aware of the workings of the agency are deeply unhappy with its current environment.
It should be stressed that there have been no findings against anybody in MTAS and a HSE “review” has not yet delivered its report.
However, the HSE has been in receipt of at least four protected disclosures from staff in recent months.
The allegations in the disclosures include:
Safety concerns for clients;.
Another person is under long-term suspension in MTAS in highly unusual circumstances. And a crucial internal review, conducted by MTAS in 2016, was not furnished to the HSE over a two-year period despite repeated requests for it.
MTAS was established in 1999. It grew out of an organisation affiliated with the Catholic Church that provided services for troubled teenagers.
Through its first decade in existence it established a reputation for working with youths with addiction problems.
The seven-person board is chaired by Christy Cooney, former president of the GAA. He joined the board in October 2014 and took over as chair in June 2015. He is also a member of the board of the aid agency, Goal.
From the late 2000s until 2014, the CEO of the organisation was John Beasley, an experienced manager who had worked in the corporate world up until his retirement when he took up the role in MTAS. He was well regarded inside and outside the organisation and fulfilled the CEO role on a part-time basis three days a week.
His successor was appointed in May 2015 following an open competition for the job. Patrick Relihan is a former priest who left the priesthood the year before his appointment.
He had been a school chaplain inthe Cloyne diocese. According to his LinkedIn page, he has a diploma in applied chemistry and acquired a batchelor in theology degree, the latter from a university in Rome. Since his appointment he has also acquired a diploma in management in 2016.
Mr Relihan’s appointment coincided with plans to expand the organisation and attempt to source funding outside of the traditional funders, principally the HSE.
Attempts to contact Mr Relihan for comment about the HSE review proved unsuccessful.
The health body contributes in the region of €1.25m per annum to MTAS, accounting for over two-thirds of total funding.
In pursuit of these plans, Mr Relihan was appointed CEO on a full-time basis, rather than the part-time status of his predecessor.
Six months after the new CEO was appointed, an organisational review of MTAS was conducted.
Among the recommendations from this was for a clinical review of the services.
The Irish Examiner understands that the individual who was involved in the former was also appointed to conduct the latter review.
One issue that the HSE is examining is whether there was a tender for the clinical review.
MON, 14 SEP, 2020 – MICHAEL CLIFFORD Irish Examiner
Staff at a Cork addiction treatment facility for teenagers which is due to close have called for the publication of a HSE investigation into the company running the facility.
A delegation of staff from the Cara Lodge facility in Enniskeane, West Cork, met with local Independent TD Michael Collins yesterday to voice their anger at how they had been treated and the manner in which the facility has been run in recent years.
At least 25 jobs are to go with the closure.
The facility has been operating for nearly 20 years and was one of only a handful in the State to provide residential treatment to teenagers experiencing addiction problems.
It was run by the Matt Talbot Adolescent Service (MTAS), which has been mired in controversy in recent years and funded largely by the HSE.
“The life has been drained out of that place gradually,” Mr Collins said. “The staff were given false hope that a new model of service would be provided from there but then they were just told during the week that it was closing.
“A report into the centre was done and I and the staff want to know why that hasn’t been published.
They can’t turn around now and say that people today aren’t having the same problems.
In a statement issued by the HSE and the MTAS to the Irish Examiner last week, it was noted that referrals to the centre had “decreased by over 50% between 2015 and 2019.
“Any reduction in the referrals of children to residential services is to be welcomed,” the statement said.
However, according to separate sources working in the area, the fall-off in referrals had nothing to do with demand but was a result of reluctance to refer to MTAS due to controversies around the charity.
At least four protected disclosures from staff and former staff had been submitted to the HSE, alleging mismanagement in various ways.
An investigation undertaken by the HSE into these and other aspects of the running of the charity was due to be published last November but will not now be published in any form.
We remember Patrick Relihan from his dsys in the Irish College in Rome and his days as assistant vocations director of Cloyne.
He was a protege of Bishop John Magee.
Apparently, he is also looked on with favour by the current bishop Willie Crean.
He certainly landed on his feet after he left the priesthood and was looked after by the church.
He married an older lady teacher from the school where he was chaplain.
I think Patrick is the possessor of much information. He knows where the bodies are buried.
These are startling allegations against the charity.
Safety concerns for clients;.
The Irish Examiner is following the story.
To be continued…………….
107 replies on “DISCORD AT THE HEART OF VITAL ADDICTION SERVICE.”
I don’t care if he’s been naughty, Bishop Pat, he’s friggin’ gorgeous 🥰 🤪 😂
Trust you to lower the tone.
Jesus give me a drink
I think you’ve had enough drink taken.
Relihan – another not particularly bright individual promoted way beyond his ability for his (now faded) “pretty boy” looks. And yes, he probably knows where some of “the bodies are buried”.
11.08: This comment suggests that this blog is more about the former priest than the issues raised re: management. He would have been rigorously interviewed for this position. In many charities and caring agencies inevitably end up having to be supervised and examined. I hope the present difficulties do not affect the many people who require support from its services. We should be careful about arriving at judgments before we know all facts.
8:39 am He’s gorgeous so shut up 😂 😂
it may be of particular interest that Bishop Crean’s brother was on the board of MTAS when Patrick Relihan was interviewed for the position of CEO…..
Buried bodies? What on earth are you talking about, poster at 11.09?
The HSE review was shelved, the review was highly critical of Patrick Relihan and the Board of MTAS….. it was also embarrassing to the HSE, to avoid further embarrassment the HSE closed Cara Lodge….. much more to follow in the coming months.
“Clinical mismanagement” – that is hugely worrying – this is what will sink any and all of their clients / patients.
The crossover between health services / quangos / church positions needs to be handled with deeper application of principle (in case anyone’s got any).
Was the setup beefed up and goalposts moved at the expense of principle as a reward? For which side or both?
PF is going to announce his “surprise retirement” on Tutti Fruttini Day and Pell will become Pope Pell VII and simultaneously Pope Pope III.
Sounds like MTAS does do good works. At least the HSE is in there doing a proper review and audit.
Pity the HSE couldn’t do another one at Silverstream; financial mismanagement, safety concerns, bullying… sounds familiar.
The HSE review was shelved, the review was highly critical of Patrick Relihan and was embarrassing to the HSE. Cara Lodge was closed to avoid further embarrassment…..
Today marks the second anniversary since Pope Francis issued his statement promising to release a report on the McCarrick investigation.
8.08 Tutti Whatevers IS the McCarrick Report – in typical Vaticanese coded terminology naturally.
“Another person is under long-term suspension in MTAS in highly unusual circumstances.”
9.06: What do you know to allow you make this definitive judgment? Tell us..
“He knows where the bodies are buried.”
Bp Pat, you always jump to that conclusion! LOL.
Once you’ve been around in RC circles you know there are always bodies buried.
More trouble, this time with a care home run by the “charity”. It is another of these organisations that in reality are businesses that provide outsourcing services to governments, from whom they get the lion’s share of their funding, with little in the way of public donations, yet they have the benefits of charitable status that private companies do not have.
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Your comment @ 8:56 identifies a trend very common, certainly in the UK, over the past 20-30 years.And it is the same with regular governmental, both national and local, outsourcing of work, actual labour and resource provision, to private sector companies. Significantly, these companies are invariably linked, either directly or indirectly, to currently serving or retired politicians, their family networks, or “friends”, who will share in the profits, either directly as shareholders, or indirectly through arms length pseudo companies.
I have seen this widespread scam, for that’s what it so often is, for example in the privatisation of the probation and prison services, and, most recently, in the UK government award of the corona virus “Track and Trace” to Serco. This is a private company lambasted regularly for its failures. A past Guardian headline description is most apt: “NHS services sidelined in favour of giants with poor track record —and billions are unaccounted for.”
Good post, MMM.👍
MMM at 10.46: Outsourcing… a convenient word to explain away a lot of harm and hurt caused…I’m sure this “outsourcing” only started after you retired from your profession???? So, you will argue that you knew nothing of any negligence, damage or hurt caused by social services, probation officers, etc….very convenient.
Here’s the home in trouble:
Government social policy dictates service provision.
Are priests or former priests omnicompetent?
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Yes, according to them 🤥
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9.03: Yes, some priests are very highly skilled, pastorally and in management if parishes and school boards. Some are not so good at such levels but are caring in ministry towards people. We care each gifted differently. Often we find new skills as we live out our ministry. We do not haveall the relevant infirmation. I think we should read the Website of the MTAS….
Any priest who leaves the ministry and then embarks on a life where big money is involved in setting up a home with some woman with baggage should have their financial affairs investigated to see if any church funds were used time finance their new arrangements. Bad enough that they put the finger up to some things that they once held dear but where is all the finance that is needed for their new way of living came from.
[audio src="https://julieroys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Sept_29_2020_TRR_Wade_Mullen_Part_1.mp3" /]
This 49 minute track is for all believers and non-believers, and deals with commonplace dynamics in every walk sacred or secular.
– front stage and back stage
– charming and “helping”
– debasing your inner life
– pretending they supplied our own qualities or mocking them
– supplanting our sources of autonomy
– how to escape paralysis and captivity in “total organisations”
– insist on obtaining new perspectives and highly contextualised application of principle
– inventory of truths about what makes us angry
– these things were done to other people as well
– forgiveness of organisational bigwigs doesn’t excuse but spurs into action
– vague concessions instead of detailed owning of their deceit
It sounds to me as though the main concern and issue here at the forefront on the minds of those who oversee this charity, mostly clergy and bishops, was the future of the ex-priest Relihan. Because, they were enthralled with him, young, good-looking, even if somewhat limited in the academic and intellectual. Unconsciously, they all wanted in to his pants. How often we see this ? Anyhow, maybe reality has caught up with Relihan and the bishops, and he will probably be nudged aside and move on to something else. Usually ex-priests with their lack of proper training and education, can expect to rise to the dizzy heights of a deputy headteacher of a small primary school, I observe. That’s the kind of level of competence we see in our clergy.
What’s New, Mr. Magoo? – Opening Theme
Pat I have reccomemed Stephen Wilson to embark on his pastoral placement with you. Pat would you accept and guide Mr Wilson for around 2 weeks. Please respond to this request.
He’ll be no bother. He’ll even bring his own airbed.
We have guest rooms.
ALL are welcome at Larne.
All, Pat? Including Magna?
Please keep room for me, Bishop Pat, once I have finished pruning my Father’s garden I am hoping to visit you in Larne for my official seminarian meeting.
If it pleases, Your Grace?
I assure you I will always be a faithful servant in Christ Jesus; a bastion of justice
and love for the marginalised: never too afraid to fight for those afflicted by abuse and injustice.
The Gospel of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will continue to be that love letter which fills my heart with zeal and fire; which gives me the courrage to march on in times of difficulty and spiritual warfare.
I will do my God given best to ensure the perimeter fence is secure and the lambs are safe; and I will do everything in my power to ensure their pastures are a safe
haven free from foxes and wolves.
I am not afraid to shout Loud in foyers and court yards alike, I will make the Gospel message known to all.
“I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.”
Coffee time now x
9.39: ALL – I am sure all is very qualified. You don’t have much space….have you outhouses??😆😆😗😗😗😗😗😗😗😆😆😉😉😉😆😆😆😆😅😅😅
I have a 5 bedroom house with an optional 6th.
So the Cathoilc Church, many decades ago when most people in Larne would have lived in cramped little houses, spent the ‘pennies of the poor’ on a huge home, with at least five bedrooms, for a single priest?
The house was acquired in the 1960s to house 3 curates and a housekeeper
9.37: What disastrous advice to give any person who needs wise, discerning and goid people to guide him!! Pat has too many axes to grind so he’d fill this man with poisonous propaganda. Definitely.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11: 28
Cloyne has it fair share of troubles,
The elliot report,
The cloyne report,
Conviction of brendon wrixon.
Resignation of bishop Magee
Resignation of monsigioner Denis o callaghan
Resignation of bill Birmingham
Dan deane cases
Big mick lomasaney
And the rest,
It’s a scandal ridden diocese
How come there is so much scandal in the Cloyne Diocese?
Bishops and priests don’t believe in God.
Bishops and priests with no morals.
Bishops and priests with no leadership skills.
Bishops and priests with secret sex lives.
Poor leadership back to bishop john ahern
Brendon wrixon was vocations director for a very long time, what was his judgement like
If I’d known it was going to be like this , I would never have brought it here,
Peader o keane
Sounds like MTAS is about to join the ever-increasing list.
“Secret sex lives” – I would be more than happy with just a sex life 😂 🤣
Armagh could give Cloyne a good run for its money.
3:15pm In the amount of scandals? How many, if any ,reports into Armagh?
Why did Mgr Denis O’Callaghan, former Professor of Moral Theology in Maynooth, resign?
What are they doing in the Church? Why don’t they do the honourable thing…. and go….
Why don’t you go you ould bollocks
11.01: A typical hate rant by the perfect man. My God, your arrogance and lies are nauseatingly hypocritical. You have contempt for ever cleric which is full of vengeance. What moral and spiritual deafness you possess. A bishop whose life is utterly irrelevant except to all but haters.
The Church ⛪️ I Worry
This chap is absolutely right. It doesn’t matter which Church one chooses: Catholic, C of E, Jehovah Witness, you name it. if they are judge and jury in their own case they will ALWAYS judge in their own favour. That is what we are as human creatures: everybody, even bishop Pat, though he is the font of criticism for child abusing priest. When the chips are down each defends their own creation. The point made by the radio commentator that the Church has been reforming for decades and still has as far more to go yet. They pretend to speak for the Almighty and that they have direct line to him, but since they are only finite fallible, limited creatures, that is the first fraud out of which all the others inevitably arise. Read the penitentials of the early Celtic monks by Bieler: child abuse, concubinage, simony, avarice . It is all there in the 6th century and they are still aspiring. Saying one can forgive a sin is no substitute for rejecting it, but it a great and confusing sleight of hand to confuse the gullible.
Are you one of the dishonorable ones?
No Diddums, but you certainly are.
The sinless one speaks yet again.. Your own faith is pretty sham, fake and broken, you thick, blind fool. How can you be so self righteous? We’re I to seek mercy or kindness in my last moments , you’d be the last one I’d call. Your heart is poison our. It is not of CHRIST. Go and read the gospels….
Where have I ever said I was sinless?
I am a sinner. Always have been. Always will be.
But I am a sinner who calls out the truth.
Don’t forget to look at me! I abhor abuse!
11:42 am “To err is human, to forgive divine” — is a quote from Alexander Pope’s ‘An Essay on Criticism’ published in 1711.
It is available online in pdf format for free and is a good read.
Also here is an excerpt I have selected pasted from an online post called “Saints who were notorious sinners” – by Philip Koslosk – Aug 24, 2016
No one has ever liked taxes and this was especially true in ancient Israel. During the first century Romans subcontracted out the job of collecting taxes to private individuals and these tax collectors took the opportunity to extort as much money as they could from people. Everyone hated them and their greed was well known by all.
Little is known about the “Good Thief” who was nailed on the cross next to Jesus, but we do know Dismas’ crime merited crucifixion. According to one biblical scholar, “Two of the most common [criminals condemned to crucifixion] were low-life criminals and enemies of the state… Low-life criminals would include, for example, slaves who had escaped from their masters and committed a crime [or spoke out…]. If caught, a slave could be crucified. There were two reasons they were subjected to such a tortuous, slow, and humiliating death. They were receiving the ‘ultimate’ punishment for their crime [or for speaking out…] and, possibly more important, they were being used as a spectacle to warn any other slave or [citicen…] who was thinking about escaping or committing crimes what could happen to *them*.”
Even though he was raised by a Christian mother, Saint Augustine followed the practice of many students of his time [and our time…] and pursued a life of pagan Manichaeism. During this time period he engaged in a relationship with a concubine and had a son with her. They remained with each other for many years, but he never married her and eventually she ended the relationship.
The best example that Augustine gives of the severity of his life of sin is the famous episode of the “Sealing of the pears.” He narrates the scene in his Confessions.
“Fair were those pears, but not them did my wretched soul desire; for I had store of better, and those I gathered, only that I might steal. For, when gathered, I flung them away, my only feast therein being my own sin, which I was pleased to enjoy. For if aught of those pears came within my mouth, what sweetened it was the sin.”
After having a conversion of heart, Augustine was baptised, became a priest, bishop and after his death, “Doctor of the Church.”
Saint Mary of Egypt
As a young woman Mary ran from home and spent seventeen years as a seductress in the glamorous city of Alexandria during the fourth century. She did not charge for her services, but enjoyed the challenge of seducing young men. She was enthralled with “sexual adventure” and was led by her passions. Mary later confessed, “There is no mentionable or unmentionable depravity of which I was not their teacher.”
Feeling compelled to tag along with a group of pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, she boarded the ship and seduced everyone before reaching their destination. However, while in the Holy City, Mary repented of her sins and was reconciled with the Christ and the church
She spent the rest of her life as a hermit in the desert and continually fought temptations to turn back to her depravity until God granted her peace of soul.
Would that melodramatic sentimentalist, Augustine, had enjoyed a surfeit of said pears than become a so-called ‘Doctor of the Church’. Not for generations of Christians even one of those sweet pears from this fellow’s hand, for he fed them the bitter fruit of mental agony through his false teaching on the eschatological destiny of unbaptised children and adults, and the world a moral rationale for mutual physical destruction through his teaching on the permissability of war.
Augustine would better have served himself, his concubine, and their son by committing himself to all three and, through this, generations of countless numbers of Christians.
Are you alright….
Were you using foul language, Bella? 😈
… Remember the Clerical Medical adverts from the ninties and early naughties?
This particular advert is hilariously fitting for this week… No?
I think the Police lady with the radio is particularly funny, so I do.
Why all the rants about this former priest? I presume he did his years in seminary and was a good seminarian and then decided that the priesthood wasn’t for him. He was probably a model seminarian
😂 Take and read.
11:48am. “..a model seminarian…” Define, please! 😜
He certainly was not
What year was Mr. Relihan ordained?
He was ordained in 2003 and was in ministry for 11 years.
The above comments bring up a question about the church which is genuinely theological but I haven’t yet heard a convincing answer to it. It’s also one which I think people need to grapple with because it’s a major barrier for people outside:
How is the church holy when it is full of sinners and (and this is the important bit) people who think sin is fine and have no apparent intention of challenging this in their own lives or anyone else’s?
It’s called, variously, self-delusion, mental compartmentalisation, hypocrisy, dishonesty.
My favourite appellation is ‘nonsense’.
Haha thanks for the perfect answer.
Did you read the article?
This matter raises lots of questions.
Why did the Cloyne diocese need an assistant vocations director? Is this the practice in dioceses or was there a rush of vocations in Cloyne?
I think there was also a deputy assistant director as well.
For the tsunami of vocations in cloyne?
I remember Relihan celebrated a Mass from the RTÉ studios one Sunday. He was utterly and completely disengaged from what he was doing. He had no presence and all the personality of a dead fish.
All other institutions take note also.
False starts have been burning everybody out all the more.
Do reassure me that Relihan left the priesthood for a woman ? I he happily married now with children ? That would be so nice. But…..I doubt it.
Relihan has married an older female teacher.
3.28: What business is it if yours, Buckkey, that Mr. Relihan is married and for you to print such information? You trespass all boundaries. You are just a nasty, horrible individual. Wouldn’t you just love to have such a good looking guy by your side????
Mr Relihans marriage was a civil and public event.
He is not my type.
Miracolo ! Wonders will never cease. It restores one’s faith in the macho muscular christianity of the priesthood of years ago. Good living, whiskey, fags, and a penchant for women. And what do we have now ? A priesthood that is in to interior design, fine dining, nice cars, sunshine holidays where they wear thongs and sarongs, gay saunas, al fresco cruising, and a complete disregard for the public vows and promises that they took at ordination. Mind you, the latter is a bit more colourful and entertaining, I have to admit.
1.57: You are fantasising obviously about this guy!! Tell the truth. But he’s happily married – find another guy to fantasise about. Look towards Larne…😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😉😎😎🙂😎😎😎😎🤤🤤🤤🤤🤤🤤🤤
7.27:👜👜👜👜👜👍👍👍👍👍…fantasizing is the lot of losers….take note 1.57….
Oh, Bp Pat, look at +Elsie… that big Pole with her there too.
Is your knicks in a twist because he’s married to a woman
Oh my word! It even has a running commentary just like the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Elsie, what on earth are you doing, you silly cow? You are making a total twat of yourself.
That’s because it was broadcast live on BBC1. The presenter is that fine Welsh Presbyterian, Huw Edwards.
“A damning report into child abuse within the Church of England has revealed how leaders “minimised” a Wirral vicar’s offending.”
Liverpool Echo 7 October 2020 – by Luke Traynor Chief Reporter.
“Inquiry chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay said: “Over many decades, the Church of England failed to protect children and young people from sexual abusers, instead facilitating a culture where perpetrators could hide and victims faced barriers to disclosure that many could not overcome.”
I,too, have experienced these barriers, Bishop Pat. The Anglican establishment in Liverpool are currently using their deputy chancellor (the Anglican Diocese solicitor), as the residing as judge in my closed Civil courts case in Liverpool.
This judge has literally written an a Civil Court Order which surpasses my whole file of exhibits and evidence.
He even gave permission for what I said at the last hearing to be “Omitted” from the transcript.
The independent report in my file even accuses one of his own ecclesiastical canons as, from Liverpool, of sexual impropriety with a vulnerable adult. Myself.
Is this legal or illegal? Can a anybody please advise?
@2.44pm You need to get a life and move on.
Peter has been through a very bad time. I am not allowing abusive comments on him.
Good. Thank you for not allowing them. The Cathbots on here complain that people say their religion and whole life is abusive but it’s caused by their own behaviour.
4.47: Can you rewrite your confusing comment?
TUE, 29 SEP, 2020 – 06:30
“The Irish Examiner has also learned that an inspection by Tusla last February initially concluded that Cara Lodge should not be allowed to admit any new residents because of shortcomings in management at local and CEO levels in MTAS.”
6.50: Thanks for giving us a vignette into your priestly life….sounds wonderfully delightful and freeing.You sure know how to adapt.
This “another person” sounds like a total dick, Bp Pat.