Dear Ray,

I have been contacted by several people and priests in Kerry to express their real anger about your despicable behaviour towards the late Fr. Kevin McNamara.


In fact, many people with good reason in the Diocese of Kerry believe YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS due to your cack-handedness that bordered on bullying in your desire to force Fr. McNamara out the parish of Moyvane before the diocesan changes in Kerry of July 2021 were announced.

And, this begets the legitimate question, do you, Bishop Ray, use your episcopal authority to bully the priests of the Diocese of Kerry?

Your despicable and malign attitude was a source of great distress and anguish to Fr. McNamara. And, this upset and stress had not ameliorated with the passing of time. In fact, many people hold with good reason believe that the fact you forced Fr. McNamara from Moyvane played a significant and contributory factor in his untimely demise.

I have established to my satisfaction that during June/July that you [Bishop Ray] gave Fr. McNamara an ultimatum either to move from Moyvane to become the PP of Glenflesk or face the bleak possibility of not having a priestly assignment in the Diocese of Kerry.

I understand that you asked him to consider taking on a parish that had a conspicuous level of debt, which Fr. McNamara declined. I further understand that the late Fr. Namara was deeply reluctant to leave the Parish of Moyvane. And, I have learned that some parishioners had offered him the monies to engage the services of an experienced canon lawyer.

However, Fr. McNamara felt bound by his promise of obedience and his desire to serve the people of God to acquiesce to your request. However, he did so with the greatest reluctance. It was conspicuous that he was one of the few priests moved in the diocesan changes of July 2021. It begets the obvious question: why did you not place the previously London-based Jesuit, Fr. Carmody, SJ as the parish priest of Glenflesk or assign him to the debt-ridden parish?


Using any yardstick, Fr. Kevin McNamara was a well-liked, popular, respected, and deeply loved priest in Moyvane. During the pandemic, while complying with the law, he continued to minister to the people. His move to Glenflesk was greeted with shock and dismay by people in Listowel, Tarbert, Glin (Limerick) and Ballydonugue. This is confirmed by the number of very positive articles that have appeared in the press since his passing.

I cannot recall people queueing in the middle of the day to pay their respects to a deceased priest in a church. This is all the more remarkable given how secular in Ireland has become in recent years. It is a testimony to the remarkable priestly ministry of the late Fr. McNamara.


Is not the real reason you wanted to move Fr. McNamara — you wanted to teach him a lesson and show him that there are consequences to challenging your authority?

But, I have been lead to believe his difficulties began with the ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Sean Jones. And, in a cruel twist of fate, Fr. Jones, was present in Moyvane for the reception of the earthly remains of Fr. McNamara.

In fact, when, I first published on my blog the images from of Jones’ Grindr profile that had been sent to me by an ex-seminarian from Maynooth, I understand that Fr. McNamara urged the greatest possible caution and prudence about the priestly ordination of the then Deacon Jones.

But, you ignored his concerns with alacrity. However, Fr. McNamara did NOT oppose the ordination of Jones. I am told that Fr. McNamara was of the view that if Jones were serious about being a priest, he would agree to serve in the diocese as a deacon for a number of years to take the heat out of the scandal. But, you proceeded with the ordination of Jones in his home parish of Moyvane with a haste and secrecy that had not been seen in the diocese since penal times.


Because, I had been blogging about the allegations surrounding Jones, I was not surprised to learn from a friend of Fr. McNamara that a security company had been hired to “police” the ordination in Moyvane because there was a fear that I would disrupt the priestly ordination of Fr. Jones in Moyvane.

Moreover, I also know that images of yours truly [Bishop Pat Buckley] were distributed to the security men so they could accurately recognise me..

Is this true? I know I am asking a rhetorical question, however, I know it is true, because this was a source of considerable shock to the late Fr. McNamara, when he was told same by a diocesan official.

One of my informants tells me that he was told face-to-face by the late Fr. McNamara that one of the reasons you ordained the now Fr. Jones was that the aforementioned Fr. Jones had made a sworn declaration that he [Jones] was not the individual in the photographs that I had repeatedly asserted with good cause was Deacon Jones.

When it was put to him [Fr. McNamara] by a reader of my blog that you [Bishop Ray] ordained Jones to the priesthood to spite me [Bishop Pat Buckley], he did not disagree with that observation.

Of course, it is appropriate to highlight at this juncture that my allegations about Deacon Jones were never denied publicly. Instead, the Diocese of Kerry decided to provide the thin veneer of credibility to you as the Ordinary by Jones’ statement. When, I contacted the diocesan offices in Kerry, I was surprised to be told that it was “unkind” of me to publish the photos from Jones’s Grindr profile; however, nobody within the Kerry diocesan offices denied it was the then Deacon Jones.

Subsequently, I have learned that a considerable amount of pressure was put upon you by the current President of Maynooth, Fr. Michael Mullaney to ordain Jones. Is this true?

I understand from other priests in the diocese that Fr. Jones keeps a very low profile in Tralee. He is conspicuous by his absence. When, he [Jones] comes to face that most just of Judges; do you think Fr. Jones will be lamented and will he be the subject of such positive media coverage?

Do you think people will queue in similar numbers in Moyvane to lament the passing of Fr. Jones? On that point, do you think the late Fr. McNamara would approve the ordination of Mr. Moriarty to the diaconate? Is he still languishing in a presbytery outside Killarney waiting for you to make a decision about his future? We all know how hard it is for you to make decisions.

In conclusion, I feel it can be legitimately asserted that you [Bishop Ray] had an animus towards the Fr. Kevin McNamara. And, of that you should be deeply ashamed.

Your platitudinous words on the occasion of this death belie the thinly-veiled contempt you had for Fr. McNamara during his life. Perhaps, you should reflect on his extraordinary life as a priest and attempt (if possible) to imitate his zeal and apply same to your own ministry; because, there is scant evidence of your zeal, thus far, within the Diocese of Kerry.

May we all attempt to animate the Christ-centred example of Fr. Kevin McNamara’s priestly ministry.

+Pat Buckley