A former Abbot of Mount Mellifont told me personally in the mid 1970s that up until that date he had had 18 sexual liasons / affairs in his time in Mellifont.
He said that he was bisexual and his sexual exploits had been with both men and women.
When in his presence his hands roamed as he attempted to feel the backside and groin areas of his penitents.
His conversation both inside and outside Confession was very sexually charged and he liked to hear the minute details of people’s sins and failures.
He said that he only stopped having sex with people when an unrelated illness prevented him from getting erections.
As a seminarian and young priest I was keenly aware that I was being sexually pursued.
I had no attraction to the man whatsoever and anyway at the time I was deeply repressed and also regarded all such sexual activity as immoral and gravely sinful.
At the time I thought his behaviour was a one off – restricted to him as a “weak” or sinful monk.
At the time we all idolised the Cistercians and regarded them as living saints.
But clearly we see that my monk was not a one off.
The case of Richard Purcell proves that.
And I know of other Cistercian monks who have been sexually active inside and outside The monastery walls.
Purcell is ot the only Irish Cistercian monk to have been homosexually active and visited the Boilerhouse.
I do not know if “my monk” was involved in the impregnation of the woman found in the well.
I have mentioned his name to the priest who told me about the well death.
He has neither denied or affirmed whether he was the one.
In the Middle Ages monasteries were places of utter debauchery.
It looks as if things have not changed that much since.
Except now we have GRINDR and the Boilerhouse.
I also think that monks and their friends had a way in the past of making victims an accusers disappear for ever!
Could that happen now?
I think it could!