According to Ennis and Killaloe sources, the diocese and Ennis itself has been in serious decline since Willie Walsh became bishop in 1994.
Willie is a nice man but not a good administrator.
He also shies away from conflict and let the more bullying type of clergy walk all over him and get away with bad behaviour.
Willie was succeeded by Kieran O’Reilly who had run a world wide religious order and knew how to administer and manage.
He did everything by the book. Did priest appointments by letter and had a note-taker at each meeting he had.
He was then succeeded by Fintan Monahan, who is totally self focused and runs the diocese by surrounding himself with a clerical clique – people like Tom Ryan and Iggy McCormack.
My Ennis sources have highlighted the problems as:
1. Appointing academics with little pastoral experience as parish priests for decades.
2. Parish priests bullying and sidelining curates and allowing bossy lay volunteers to dominate.
3. Allowing out of control priests like Jerry Carey away with bad behaviour.
4. The unnecessary spending of money on the cathedral in spite of Ennis reporting annual deficit in its accounts.
5. A history of problems and scandals at Colaiste Muire being kept under wraps by the Sisters if Mercy.
6. Allowing a large number of talented priests to be discouraged to the point of them leaving the priesthood.
While all this is happening Fintan Monahan is concerned about himself and being promoted to an archdiocese – and spending time in his holiday cottage with his dog.
And just now, Fintan has the Carey and Ger Fitzgerald scandals.
AN INTERESTING NEW BOOK