The Blog has been told that before Phonsie celebrated the installation for Richard Purcell, a highly reliable person spoke to Phonsie and told him about Richard Purcelll’s sexual misconduct at Roscrea.
The Blog has also been told that Phonsie placed the person who gave him this information under an oath of silence telling them to never repeat this information again to another human being.
GIVING PHONSIE THE RIGHT OF REPLY AND THE RIGHT TO AFFIRM OR DENY:
The imposition of a vow of silence by Phonsie on the person that reported Richard Purcell to him is akin to the vow of silence Sean Brady placed on the boys who were Brendan Smyth’s victims.
There are those out there, who do not want to face up the the vastness of corruption in the RCC, who want to attack me for this blog and claim I am on a REVENGE FEST against the RCC.
That is NOT TRUE or ACCURATE.
Of course, I believe that Cahal Daly did me an injustice in the 1980s.
But thoughts about that do not consume my life.
In ways Daly did he a great favour in freeing me from the RCC, even though I may not have realised it at the time.
In fact looking back he gave me the Freedom of the Sons of God
My life today and for some years now is concentrated on three things:
1. Thinking about and working on my relationship with God.
2. Being an available pastor – Mass, the Sacraments, listening and counselling and being there for my congregation and the “strangers” who contact daily by phone, email, letters etc. This very much includes very regular contact from people who hurt by the church and its bishops and priests.
3. Do people realise the amount of time and effort it takes to come up with a daily blog, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
When I worked further Belfast Sunday News and the News of the World I had to submit 1500 words ONCE a week. Now I do that ONCE a day.
I was very well paid by the newspapers. This blog pays me nothing and in fact I have to pay a monthly contribution to host it.
HOW A STORY STARTS ON THE BLOG:
Stories nearly always start with someone getting in touch with me about a concern or a hurt they have experienced at the hands of the Church, a bishop or a priest.
The Rory Coyle, McCamley, Deacon Byrne, Ciaran Dallat, Michael King, Ger Fitzgerald, Purcell and Fr Lomansey stories ALL started in this way.
The people who contacted me had all been to other bishops and priests before they contacted me and had gotten nowhere.
Most of them had pictures, videos, letters or emails to back up their stories.
They were all up against denial and cover ups by bishops and priests.
I was often their last port of call.
These people were angry and hurt at being turned away, not being believed and frustrated by the cover up
This situation will continue until the RCC sets an independent complaints office with real teeth and people can witness real action been taken against the people they have complained about and who are found guilty.
Those examining complaints cannot be bishops, priests, religious or anyone with an RCC connection.
This blog plays a role in church renewal.
It also plays a role in advocating for people and seeking justice and closure for them.
Our work will continue…….
I repeat, it is not about revenge.
People who have been named on the Blog have also been helped by the blog author.
That part of the work is unseen by the public and rightly so.
If irrational and orruption covering people out there choose to believe the Blog is about revenge there is nothing I can say to them.
The Mount Mellerary scandal and the resignations of Abbot Purcell and Abbot General Fitzgerald has serious implications for the Bishop of Waterford – Phonsie Cullinane.
For two years now, Phonsie has known about these matters and has done nothing!
Worse than that, he has made a point of concelebrating Mass with Richard Purcell in the most public of ways.
He has also continued to hold diocesan occasions at Mellery and stood for photographs with Purcell.
AN OTHERMC AREAVEY:
As WICKLOW WILLIE said on yesterday’s blog:
“I agree with Anon at 10.49 re Bishop Cullinan. In some ways he is in a similar situation to Bishop John McAreavey in Dromore who allowed the miscreant abuser Malachy Finnegan to concelebrate mass with him. Although there is no suggestion that Purcell did anything criminal there was sufficient talk, innuendo, rumour among priests and laity and speculation on this blog that Bishop Phonsie would have known something was not right with the abbot’s personal behaviour. Even though there was no definite proof that he had failed to keep his vows the prudent course of action for Bishop Cullinan would have been to talk with Purcell and say that in light of all the talk it would be better that he ‘lay low’ for a bit until the truth or otherwise was established. However by being on the sanctuary with RP and even photographed with Purcell exposes the bishop to the allegations that he showed a serious lack of prudent judgement at best or serious bloody mindedness at worst. Either way his authority as bishop has been diminished and like the aforementioned Former bishop of Dromore I think he should consider his position”.
MR HOURIGAN’S LETTERPHONSIE 13 MONTHS AGO!
2nd November 2020
Dear Bishop Cullinan,
Below for your consideration is an e-mail sent to the Abbot General of the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Within the e-mail, I make a number of allegations against the current Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO.
Within the present correspondence, I asseverate those allegations in light of conversations that have taken place over the weekend. Again for the avoidance of doubt, I wish to make it unequivocally clear, the sexual act — consensual anal penetration between Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO and the ex-priest of the Diocese of Killaloe, was consensual. The said sexual act took place in the guesthouse of Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Roscrea, which is located in the Diocese of Killaloe. The nature of Dom Richard Purcell’s sexual activity can be legitimately characterised as an abuse of abbatial authority. And, that is a very serious matter.
As will be asserted in a sworn affidavit, the current Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, confirmed in a conversation that the conduct of Dom Richard was known to him, and it was hoped it was a one-off. Nonetheless, in recent days, further evidence has emerged that Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, has been active on the gay scene for a considerable period of time. Sadly, this is a grave violation of his monastic vows; the promises he made at his diaconal and priestly ordinations, and contrary to the behaviour expected of any Cistercian Abbot.
In light of a number of conversations from people who could be classed as whistle-blowers, it has emerged that the behaviour of Richard Purcell was “known” in the diocese of Killaloe.
When, Dom Richard Purcell, was elected Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, a monastery that is canonically located within your jurisdiction — was his past behaviour brought to your attention either formally/informally?
If the allegations concerning Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, was known to the Abbot General, do you consider it unacceptable for Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO to have “confirmed” his election as the Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey in accordance to the Constitutions of that Congregation?
On Saturday, November 4, 2017, you were the principal celebrant at a Mass to invoke God’s Blessing on the New Abbot and his abbatial ministry at Mount Melleray Abbey. When you presided at this mass — at that time — did you have personal knowledge of any allegation of past homosexual activity by Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO?
The photographs November 4, 2017 at Mount Melleray Abbey evidence that the Mass was attended by the now Archbishop of Cashel, Kieran O’Reilly SMA, previously the Bishop of Killaloe; the current Bishop of Killaloe, Fintan Monahan, and the bishop emeritus of the diocese, Bishop William Walsh. Did any of these three (3) bishops formally/informally make you aware of any allegation pertaining to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO?
It is my understanding that Dom Purcell’s behaviour was known in the Chancery of the Diocese of Killaloe. It is my further understanding that this created a lot of angst in the Diocese, and pressure was put on certain persons to remain silent. But, the ex-priest spoke about what happened in the monastery guesthouse, i.e., Mount St. Joseph Abbey to a number of priests in the Diocese of Killaloe, so these assertions about Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO are not unfounded hearsay. And, it is a complex matter that is still unfolding.
In any event, it raises further questions about the conduct of Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO that need to be addressed by this diocese of Waterford & Lismore. I am aware that canonically you have no jurisdiction over Mount Melleray Abbey, however, you do have responsibility for the pastoral governance of your diocese in which the abbey is located.
Have you granted by a Decree, priestly faculties to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, to minister in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore?
Will you upon the presentation of a sworn affidavit attesting to the behaviour of Richard Purcell, preventively suspend the priestly faculties (if they have been previously granted) and/or prohibit by a Decree (and publish same), the said Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, from ministering/functioning as a priest anywhere in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore?
It will be established in an affidavit that the allegations against Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO have been known by the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, since at least the 13th of September, 2020, and he has ignored same with alacrity.
Will you now write to the competent Dicastery, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to invite said Dicastery to begin an Apostolic Visitation of Mount Melleray Abbey, because the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, appears to have abrogated his responsibility?
In light of the fact that so many people appear to know about Purcell’s behaviour, the fact, that he is ministering in your diocese with impunity — is it unreasonable to suggest there has been a cover-up of his behaviour in the Diocese of Killaloe?
Has anybody previously brought the allegations pertaining to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, to your attention? If so, who? And, why have you done nothing about the situation?
In conclusion, it gives me no pleasure to write this e-mail, however, now that you have been formally notified of the accusations; there is no excuse for inaction by the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore and/or the Abbot General. But, if there is anything that is untrue in the allegations, Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, can rely on the present to commence proceedings against me under the provisions of the Defamation Act, 2009.
I would be grateful for an acknowledgement of the present correspondence, and a considered reply to by 5 p.m., tomorrow the 3rd of November, 2020.
PHONSIE’S ATTEMPT TO AVOID ANSWERING HOURIGAN BY SENDING AN EMAIL FROM THE PERSONLESS “DIOCESAN OFFICE”!
HOURIGAN MESSAGE AFTER PHONSIE FAILED TO PROPERLY ACKNOWLEDGE LETTER:
FINALLY, PHONSIE REPLIES PERSONALLY TO HOURIGAN:
Phonsie did nothing that we know of!
MY EMAIL TO PHONSIE AT THE TIME”
Phonsie, your moral credibility is totally gone! Do the right thing and GO! NOW!
Francis has made plans that bishops can be investigated by their metropolitan archbishop.
I wonder where O’Reilly stands on the Purcell / Cullinane issue and other such issues.
However, it is long overdue, because Fr. Purcell’s scandalous lifestyle has been known about for a considerable period of time. In fact, he was NOTORIOUS within the Diocese of Killaloe. And, he was notorious in your own diocese; however, you overlooked this reality with wilful and deliberate intent. Hence, you were part of the problem and not part of the solution.
The announcement on the website of the Order Cistercians of the Strict Observance is an exercise in obfuscation. It is also a demonstrable example of an egregious and unacceptable cover-up. I submit that the Apostolic Visitation of Mount Melleray Abbey was a sham. I would further submit that this so-called “visitation” was a half-hearted and ignominious attempt to salvage the utterly compromised and utterly discredited Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald. Why do I make this assertion?
Because, it can be irrefutably established that Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, knew that Fr. Richard Purcell was sexually active as a monk of Mount St. Joseph Abbey. And, he did so for a considerable period of time.
On September 13, 2020, at 6.39 p.m., Dom Eamon Fitzgerald called me [Pat Buckley], and we had a free-flowing conversation lasting eighteen (18) minutes and (39) seconds about Fr. Richard Purcell. Dom Eamon admitted to me [Pat Buckley] that Purcell had been sexually active at Mount St. Joseph Abbey, and he [Fitzgerald] further acknowledgement that they [the Cistercians] had hoped it was a one-off.
As I have made clear in the past due to the advances in mobile (“cell phone” for my American readers) phone technology it would be and deeply imprudent of Dom Eamon Fitzgerald to deny the conversation and what he admitted about Fr. Purcell on the evening of September 13, 2020.
Bishop Alphonsus: did the two (2) visitators of Mount Melleray Abbey: a) the Abbot of Tilburg, Dom Peeters and, b) Mother Fourmentin, Abbess of Arnhem, know about this conversation. And, did they interview Dom Fitzgerald about same?
Did Dom Peeters and Mother Fourmentin visit the Dublin-based “Boilerhouse” with a photograph of Fr. Purcell?
Did Dom Peeters and Mother Fourmentin ask the proprietors of this house of ill-repute if they recognised Fr. Purcell from his frequent visits in the past?
And, if they did visit the Boilerhouse: did they ask any of the patrons present if they recognised Fr. Richard Purcell and/or know about Fr. Purcell’s known proclivity for barebacking? Because you are probably innocent “barebacking” is the term of reference for unprotected sex, i.e., sex without a condom.
Did the Dom Peeters and Mother Fourmentin review the accounts of Mount Melleray Abbey? Did they review the credit card statements?
Did Dom Peeters and Mother Fourmentin ask Richard Purcell about how he paid for his visits to the Boilerhouse? Presumably, he must have paid with cash in order to avoid creating an electronic trail that could be picked up by forensic accountants and/or officials from the Charities Regulator, or indeed any abbot or abbess that might have investigated Mount Melleray Abbey.
It is, of course, noteworthy that the allegations that I have repeatedly made against Fr. Purcell were not explicitly DENIED. And, it is also the case that Dom Peeters and Mother Fourmentin were never going to find any corroborating evidence; because, the visitation was instituted to beget/facilitate an agreed outcome.
In light of the allegations that I have repeatedly made against the now Fr. Purcell, I find it surprising that I was not contacted. I could have provided Dom Peeters and Mother Fourmentin with the identity of the ex-seminarian from the Diocese of Killaloe who alleges that he had consensual anal sex with Richard Purcell at the Boilerhouse. The said ex-seminarian recognised the now Fr. Purcell from a retreat conducted by the latter when the former was a seminarian in Maynooth.
Bishop Alphonsus, you have known about these allegations for some time. In fact, you were among the first to know. In fact, like a white sepulchre you have overlooked a significant sexual scandal within a monastery within your own diocese. Moreover, you afforded to the now Fr. Purcell every opportunity to minimise and dilute the severity of the scandal by permitting Purcell to celebrate the Eucharist beside you at functions within the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. Therefore, instead of being part of the solution you were part of the problem. You let your animus towards me cloud your judgement to the detriment of the greater good of Mount Melleray Abbey and the diocese that was entrusted to your pastoral governance by Pope Francis. And, that raises serious questions about your integrity.
Your demonstrable hypocrisy, both personal and ecclesiastical adds significant credence to the calls of the Labour Party for the removal of church patronage in Irish schools. Sadly, you lack the insight to discern how abominable your handling of the scandal has been for the past eighteen months or so, and it has been nothing short of scandalous. If you had any decency you would resign immediately as the Ordinary of Waterford and Lismore.
When you celebrated the funeral liturgy of the late Monsignor Michael Olden and when you ordained Fr. John Dineen, both at Mount Melleray Abbey, you were aware of the severity of the allegations that had been made against then Dom Richard Purcell. You [Bishop Cullinan] were as I wrote previously “complicit in the corporate silence of the Cistercians and their concomitant failure to deal with Purcell”. Hypocrisy, thy name is: Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan.
Thus, the question remains: will you now preventively suspend the priestly faculties of Fr. Richard Purcell within the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore? The actions of Fr. Purcell bring the Cistercian monastic life into disrepute. It is the case that Fr. Purcell is no longer an Ordinary — so will Fr. Purcell be subject to a canonical investigation conducted in accordance with Canon 1717?
This e-mail will be published on my blog. It is been copied to the Irish Apostolic Nuncio and to the Cardinal Prefect of the so-called Congregation for Religious, so that they have “knowledge” of this scandal.
I am copying this to Bishop Erik Varden, because, he, too is also complicit in this cover-up. Because, he inexcusably failed to reply to a letter that was sent to him about the Purcell scandal, so, he, too, is another Cistercian hypocrite.
I am also bringing this matter to the attention of Sr. Eleanor Campion; she is a member of the Law Commission of the Order. Perhaps, she and the other members of the “Commission” may wish to look at the procedures to deal with complaints against abbots and abbesses; because, clearly the current system has not worked, as Dom Eamon “Ostrich” Fitzgerald, has reverted to type when he was the Abbot of Mount Melleray, utterly incapable of making a decision.
It is been further copied to the English-speaking and French-speaking Cistercians, so they can see the real nature of: a) the despicable abbatial tenure of Richard Purcell; and, b) the lamentable handling of a “known” scandal by the Abbot General, Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO.
Thereby, when they come to elect a successor to Fitzgerald as Abbot General, they will elect an individual who will not (we hope) in the future show the same moral ambiguity and lack of leadership as Dom Eamon. And, who bring about renewal within the Congregation and not be a mindless steward who oversees decline.
Finally, I take great heart that the resignation of Purcell followed the death of Fr. Jean-Pierre Schumacher, the last surviving monk and sole survivor of the assassination of the monks of Tibhirine. It gives me hope for the renewal of the Cistercians. Let us seek the intercession of the Altas Martyrs for the renewal of Mount Melleray Abbey and the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
As of 6 am this morning RICHARD PURCELL resigned as the abbot of Mount Melleray.
The abbot general in Rome published the following statement on the Cistercian website.
So your bosses find you innocent…….
And then you resign for….”personal reasons”..
But sure this is the way the RCC PR machine operates.
The statement is interesting in the words it uses.
Richard Purcell’s resignation is not an occasion for celebrating and rejoicing.
It is an occasion of sadness for the world wide Cistercian order, for that order”s aging and dwindling monks and monasteries in Ireland and indeed for the Irish Catholic Church.
Had Richard Purcell’s resignation come two years ago it would have saved an awful lot of hurt and scandal for everyone.
The fact that it has been allowed to drag on for two years casts a great shadow over the Abbot General Eamon Fitzgerald. We can no longer look upon the Irish Cistercians as Holy men or spiritual guides, for they have all sat back and tolerated the intolerable and thereby have forfeited their right to be regarded as authentically Christian or spiritual. St Bernard of Clairveaux must be turning in his grave.
It also costs a great shadow over the incumbent of Waterford, Phonsie Cullinane, who likes to portray himself as a great “defender of the faith” but who has sat and tolerated this situation in his own diocese for two years – and indeed took every opportunity to invite Purcell to every diocesan event.
Phonsie Cullinane, your toleration of this matter destroys your credibility on matters of faith and morals and you have proven yourself to be a faithless and cynical “clashing cymbal and booming gong”. You are indeed a whitened sepulchre – and everyone in Ireland sees it.
RICHARD PURCELL HIMSELF:
I hope that Richard Purcell is allowing himself to feel and experience all the contradictions and agony of his situation and not hiding in or behind some horrible cynicism or denial.
Maybe he even has a certain sense of relief that it has finally come to a head?
I cannot see Richard Purcell becoming an invisible monk spending his days praying the office, milking cows and shovelling sillage.
If the Cistercians or someone else does not offer him a “high office” of some sort (and that would be difficult) I can see him leaving the Cistercians and priesthood and making a name for himself on the Irish organ and classical music circut.
But then, as a private citizen, without ecclesiastical office and obligations, his private life would be nobody’s business.
“Blessed is the bishop who makes poverty and sharing his way of life, so that by his witness he is building up the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed is the bishop who is not afraid of tears streaming down his face, so that in them may be mirrored the pains of the people, the hard work of priests, finding God’s consolation in the embrace with those who suffer.
“Blessed is the bishop who considers his ministry a service and not power, making meekness his strength, giving everyone the right to hold citizenship in his heart, to inhabit the land promised to the meek.
“Blessed is the bishop who does not shut himself up in the palaces of governance, who does not become a bureaucrat who is more attentive to statistics than to faces, to procedures than to stories, who is seeking to fight alongside humanity for God’s dream of justice because the Lord, encountered in the silence of daily prayer, will be his nourishment.
“Blessed is the bishop who has a heart for the misery of the world, who is not afraid to dirty his hands with the mud of the human soul in order to find God’s gold, who is not scandalized by the sin and frailty of others because he is aware of his own misery, so that the gaze of the Risen Crucified One will be a seal of infinite forgiveness for him.
“Blessed is the bishop who banishes duplicity of heart, who avoids every ambiguous dynamic, who dreams of the good even in the midst of evil, because he will be able to rejoice in God’s countenance, discovering his reflection in every puddle of the city of mankind.
“Blessed is the bishop who works for peace, who accompanies journeys of reconciliation, who sows the seed of communion in the heart of the presbytery, who accompanies a divided society along the path of reconciliation, who takes every man and woman of goodwill by the hand to build fraternity: God will recognize him as his son.
“Blessed is the bishop who is not afraid to go against the tide for the sake of the Gospel, making his face ‘stern’ like that of Christ on his way to Jerusalem, without letting himself be held back by misunderstandings and obstacles because he knows that the kingdom of God advances in the contradiction of the world.”
These beatitudes were not composed by Francis but he has adopted and recom ended them
The words that stand out:
TRUE CLOSENNESS TO PRIESTS AND PEOPLE
HAVING A SERVICE OF MINISTRY AND NOT POWER.
NOT SHUT AWAY IN A PALACE.
BISHOP TO GET HIS HANDS DIRTY.
CREATING UNITY, NOT DISUNITY.
PREPARED TO GO AGAINST THE TIDE.
How do readers feel our bishops in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales fair in living out these beatitudes?
Josephite marriage, also known as spiritual marriage, chaste marriage, and continent marriage, is a religiously motivated practice in which a man and a woman marry and live together without engaging in sexual activity.
Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi lived in a Josephite marriage after they had a family of four children.
A feature of Catholic spiritual marriage, or Josephite marriage, is that the agreement to abstain from sex should be a free mutual decision, rather than resulting from impotence or the views of one party.
In senses beyond spiritual marriage, abstinence is a key concept of Church doctrine that demands celibacy of priests, monks, nuns and certain other officials in the Church. The doctrine established a “spiritual marriage” of church officials to their church; in order to better serve God, one had to disavow the demands and temptations of traditional marriage. This rule was enforced by Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, whose marriage to Cunigunde of Luxemburg was also a very famous spiritual marriage.
Saints Louis and Zélie Martin professed to enter a spiritual marriage, but consummated a year later when directed by their confessor to do so. Of their nine children the five who survived to adulthood all became nuns, including Saint Thérèse de Lisieux.
Occasionally, spiritual marriages may also be entered later in life, with the renunciation of sexual relations after raising a family to fully dedicate oneself to God. In October 2001, John Paul II beatified a married couple, Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini, who bore four children, but later in life lived separately and committed to a Josephite marriage.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND ITS OBSESSION WITH SEX.
These Josephite marriages were invented by the RCC for couples not validly married married in the eyes of the RCC to allow them to live together but not have sex!
In Ireland these relatioships were called “brother and sister” relatiohips. They could live together but not have sex.
They were based on the belief that St Joseph and Mary lived together but never had sex.
But how does anyone know that Joseph and Mary NEVER had sex?
I have no desire to formally deny the “Virgin Birth”.
But the New Testament does speak of “the brothers and sisters of Jesus”
The RCC wants us to believe that they were his cousins and that the translations mean cousins as well as brothers and sisters.
The RCC demands that for a marriage to be valid it must be sexually consummated.
You can even get an annulment for non-consummation and remarry in the RCC.
But they also claim that the marriage of Joseph and Mary was not consummated out of respect to God, the father of Jesus.
This seems to be to be having your cake and eating it.
It’s because the RCC thinks sex is DIRTY and certainly TOO DIRTY for God, Joseph and Mary.
In fact in Confession in Ireland in the old days, refusing your husband his conjugal rights (sex) was a sin women had to confess.
I had ladies in Belfast confess to me: “Far, I refused my old fella his jungle rights”
AND ANOTHER THING:
The RCC maintains that procreation is a wonderful gift from God to bring new babies into the church and the world.
Why did God go to all that trouble to create the miraculous human reproductive system but then send his son into the world by bypassing what he had created and what he called GOOD?
Do we mean the ordinary way is good enough for the rest of us but not good enough for God, Joe and Mary.
And to bolster this up they teach the Immaculate Conception of Mary, bypassing her parents Joachim and Anne?
We Catholics are called to believe in:
The Immaculate Conception of Mary
That Mary was FOREVER a virgin.
Does this means that poor old Joe never got his jungle rights?
Of course we are in all this trouble because of ORIGINAL SIN and the ancient belief that the original sin was SEX.
What was it Oscar Wilde that said:
“These is no such a thing as an original sin. They’ve all been done before”.
After 26 loyal years service as a sacristan Mr Michael Keohane was dismissed by Fr Mccarthy who used the drop in church income to justify the sacking.
But the WRC – Workplace Relations Commission in the Republic found against the PP and ordered that the sacristan be given his job back.
The WRC adjudicator, Ms Patsy Doyle said: “the justice of this case dictates an order of re-engagement”.
Fr McCarthy had dissed the quarter of a century sacristan by way of a registered letter!
The tribunal backdated the re-engagement back to July of this year.
Ms Doyle found that Mr Keohans “was unfairly selected for redundancy amidst an attempt to address the diminution of income at the church”.
The WRC also found that Fr Mccarthy had cleary excluded Mr Keohane from discussions around his redundancy.
Fr McCarthy was also angry because Mr Keohane had protested at the church gates.
Fr McCarthy said he could not entertain Mr Keohane’s return.
Fr McCarthy is awaiting legal advice as to whether he can appeal the WRC’s judgement to the Labour Court.
For a long time in Ireland bishops have been dictators in their dioceses and parish priests dictators in their parishes.
These “men” were invincible and untouchable.
And the Garda and lawyers and judges let them away with blue murder.
But the times they are a changing.
As the size and influence of the RCC decreases and Ireland becomes moreand more a European democracy the church, its hierarchs and its clergy will become more and more subject to civil and criminal law and its courts and tribunals.
This is a very, very good development.
When Daly terminated me in 1986 I did drag him before the Industrial Tribunal and High Court.
But that was 35 years ago and things were very much not up to scratch.
Anyone who thinks they have endured an injustice a the hands of any one or any organisation should have recourse to civil proceedings.
This now includes the once exempted, Roman Catholic Church and it various “operatives”.