Coffey the centre of the storm

I understand that some blog readers are somewhat bored with the on going monastic scandals being dealt with by the blog.

At the same time we have nearly doubled our daily readership.

The blog is not just entertainment. It is a place where:

1. Church corruption can be exposed.

2. Silenced people can tell their stories of hurt and being run over.

3. Hypocrites can be called to account.

4. Church matters can be discussed openly – as no where else.

The current scandal – to quote Abbot Coffee of Glebstal – is affecting three dioceses and five monasteries.

These are Killaloe, Waterford and Meath – and Mount Mellerary, Glenstal, Roscrea, Silverstream.

The central characters in the plot are Mark Kirby, Tom Deenihan, Brendan Coffey, Dick Purcell, abbot General Eaton Fitzgerald, Lugs Monahan, Phonsie, Kieran O’Reilly.

The plot is about rampant homosexuality, concealed homosexuality, money missing, the attempted suppression and destruction of documents and evidence and God knows what else.

The Charity Regulator, Tusla and the Dept of Education are involved.

Rome is involved.

The steam is building up.

We will have to see which gasket blows first.


Abbot Brendan,​

I asseverate my view that your position as the Abbot of Glenstal is completely untenable in light of the fact that you sought from the whistle-blower at Silverstream a statement that was exculpatory of the deeply immoral behaviour of Abbot Richard Purcell. Why were you wanting to protect Purcell under the ticket of the Bishop of Meath?​ After all, he is not even a monk of your own abbey or even of your own congregation. And, this makes the whole sorry​ sordid affair, tragic.

It can be evidentially established that you allowed yourself to participate in a cover-up. Thus, it is legitimate to suggest — if you are prepared to partake in the cover-up of Purcell’s behaviour — what else are you prepared to cover-up in your own abbey/school?

If an allegation of misconduct/immoral behaviour was made against a member of the Glenstal monastic community — would you behave in a similar manner? In light of what has befallen the Irish church over the past two-decades and the tolerance over a period of time shown to Gregory Collins — my concerns are entirely legitimate and appropriate. I have copies of his dating profile in Jerusalem. It was I who provided Pat Buckley with the affidavit about Collins’ behaviour that appeared on his blog.

However, for the avoidance of doubt, I am not suggesting you were involved in any cover-up in Glenstal Abbey in the past.​

In any event, your position as the Abbot of Glenstal is as previously stated, is completely untenable, and for that reason you should now do the right thing for your community and submit your resignation IMMEDIATELY to the Abbot President. Your involvement in the cover-up of Purcell’s behaviour is not going to ameliorate with the passing of time; nor will silence. Your failure to acknowledge correspondence and the silence of the Abbot President suggests an on-going cover-up.​

If you are not minded to resign over the weekend, I am minded to make an appointment at the constituency office (only two miles from where this e-mail is written) of the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, next week. I am more than content to present my evidence to Minister Foley or her agent in Tralee, and/or officials from the Department of Education,​ along with a copy of this e-mail.

I shall ask the question — is Abbot Brendan Coffey, an appropriate person to be the Abbot of Glenstal with supervisory oversight of its school in light of his involvement in a cover-up? Would you like to contemplate the response from the Irish Minister for Education? ​

I am sure the Old Boys and financial donors will be delighted to learn that the Abbot of Glenstal is willing to act in such a manner that is at variance with “Christian environment” of Glenstal Abbey School, with one of the “distinctive strengths” of the school according to its website purportedly its “Benedictine ethos and tradition”.​

Nowhere in the Rule of Benedict is it found that the Abbot will willingly partake in a cover-up; nor is it to be found in the Constitutions of the Congregation of the Annunciation. And, for this reason with the greatest possible regret, I urge you to do the right thing for Glenstal Abbey; it school, and for your own integrity before God, and resign, IMMEDIATELY.​


Robert Hourigan​