Today we will take a break from bonking monks, priests and bishops.

I met John Charles first when I entered Clonliffe seminary in 1970.

He personally met all us 18 new seminarians.

He was a formidable character and going to a meeting with was quite intimidating.

He have each of us a talk on the “facts of life” and presented us with a wood and metal crucifix at the end of the meeting – to grasp when we were tempted to masturbate.

He sent for me on several occasions between September 1970 and 1972 when he retired.

On the last occasion I met him in Archbishop’s House he said to me:

“When I leave here many of my friends will be friends no longer. Will you visit me in Killiney when I retire”?

I was more than happy to agree to do that.

Every Friday, after he retired, I got to buses that got me to his residence, Notre Dame de Bois on Military Road, Killiney, South Dublin.

We chatted over tea made by the Notre Dame Sisters – me eating freshly baked buns and JC eating one digestive biscuit.

We talked about many things including spirituality.

I went to Confession and he left me to the driveway and waited until I got to the gate, where we exchanged a wave.

He always gave my bus fare – right down to the last penny.

I was deeply shocked to hear of his sudden death on Saturday April 7 th 1973.

McQuaid has been turned into an ogre by many historians but he was a Catholuc and a man of his time.

He did dictate to Catholic Ireland from 1940 to 1970.

But he had an extremely kind and charitable side.

Personally, I liked him very much.



Mc Gilloway has ingratiated himself with important people like an Alaska senator and the Alaskan attorney general.