FATHER MICHAEL CLEARY - A HORRIBLE MAN!
I know we are not supposed to speak ill of the dead - but the only truthful thing I can say about Fr Michael Cleary was that he was an obnoxious, despicable and horrible man!
I regret that I have to say this about any human being.
Michael Cleary was a public face of "orthodox" Roman Catholicism - pro priestly celibacy; anti contraception; anti sex before marriage; anti gay; anti abortion; pro papal infallibility; pro Vatican; pro hierarchy, etc. etc, etc.
But in his private life he was a serial womaniser; a poker player for high stakes; a heavy boozer; crude; rude; obnoxious - and the rest of it.
He was used by the Catholic Hierarchy and various bishops as a "hit man" to hurt and undermine priests and people who were not towing the party line. In his work as a hitman he was ruthless; without conscience; without principles and for him the end justified the means. And his means were as ruthless as any mafia don; paramilitary ot terrorist.
In fact he was a Roman Catholic terrorist and jihadist!
I had the misfortune to come across him - and indeed be one of his victims.
But first let me tell you about some of his other victims:
FATHER MICHAEL KEANE:
Fr Michael Keane was a wonderfully pastoral priest from the West of Ireland the the Archdiocese of Tuam. He was 30 or 50 years ahead of his time. He founded the Knock Marriage Bureau to introduce lonely country bachelors to nice ladies with a view to marriage.
Fr Keane inherited a large fortune as a young priest. The archbishop wanted Fr Keane to give the money to the Church and promised him a bishopric if he did. Michael refused. The archbishop then began to torture and harrass Michael. Michael eventually moved to Dublin with the agreement of Dermot Ryan, the archbishop of Dublin. When Ryan got Michael in Dublin he and the archbishop of Tuam caught him in a pincer move and sacked him from his parish - and sent the Garda (police) to evict him from the presbytery.
Cleary played a major role in the Church's destruction of Michael Keane - while all the time pretending to be Father Keane's friend. It was Cleary - with smiling face - that ran the daggers into Father Keane's back. He did everything in his power to break Father Keane's heart and spirit.
A COUPLE GOING FOR ADVICE:
I knew and later married a young couple who were in a relationship where one party was divorced and they were unable to marry. They went to Michael Cleary for advice. This was the advice he gave them:
"Don't be worried about getting married. Live as you are. You know you will be suitable for each other if you can fart (break wind) in front of each other".
The couple - especially the young woman - left his house feeling humiliated. That was the way Cleary spoke to people.
A PRIEST'S LOVER:
A Dublin priest - Father Des Murtagh - got into a relationship with a married woman. In fact the woman claimed that the priest had sex with her on the first occasion when she was ill and semi conscious! However the relationship developed and the woman left her husband and she and the priest bought a house together in a Dublin suburb.
News of the affair broke and the Church wanted the woman out of the priest's life. What did the Church do? They sent for hit man Cleary.
Cleary pretended to befriend the woman and convinced the woman that the priest had flown to the USA and that he was waiting for her there. But the same day Cleary had put the priest on a plane for Rome!
The woman was sent to the USA where the priest WAS NOT and where she knew nobody!
Before she left Dublin Cleary got her to sign a form which he told her would give him the authority to pay her bills etc. But in fact it was a form that gave him full authority over her affairs and when he got her to the USA he tried to sell the house - to cover up the traces of her affair with the priest!
Thankfully his plan failed.
Phylis Hamilton was Michael Cleary's long term lover and the mother of 2 - if not 3 - of his children.
She first visited Cleary as an 18 year old girl who had been in hospital and who needed help. On her first visit Cleary took her into his sitting room - performed a "marriage" ceremony on himself and her and then seduced her.
Cleary - all his life and right up until his death introduced her to others as "an unmarried mother I took pity on and took in".
Their son Ross, I think, speaks well of Cleary as a father?
But after Cleary's death Phylis Hamilton sent for me and I went to meet her in her Harold's Cross home in Dublin.
It was obvious to me that she had deeply loved Cleary. But I serious doubt if it was reciprocal.
Phylis always knew in her heart that Cleary was with other women during their years together.
Phylis told me that Cleary had promised to leave her all he owned in his will - and even showed her a will.
But the day after he made the will leaving everything to Phylis - he made another, later will, leaving everything to the Church. The later will was the relevant will. He had two wills on purpose to fool her as he was dying.
After Cleary's funeral - at which the Church saw to it that she played a low key part - Phylis told me that members of Cleary's family came to her home and stripped the house of many items - including Cleary's car.
When I met Phylis she was very hurt woman. I believe Cleary's behaviour had a large part to play in her cancer and eventual too young a death.
Phylis told me that most of Cleary's friend - including Father Brian Darcy - dropped her after Cleary's death.
MY OWN ENCOUNTERS WITH CLEARY:
Cleary - as a Church hit man - constantly criticised me and ran me down in his newspapers articles on on his nightly radio show.
On one occasion he did a one hour programme about my marriages of divorcees. He called me: "a con man doing con jobs".
I was alerted to the radio show and listened to a good part of it.
The next day I rang Cleary and asked him if I could have the right of reply.
He was eating and ignorantly chewed his food loudly into the telephone and said to me: "WHEN JASUS WAS HANGING ON THE CROSS HE HAD NO RIGHT OF REPLY. NEITHER DO YOU" and he slammed down the telephone.
I had enough. I went to lawyers and sued Cleary and the radio station. By the time it came to trial he had died and I was left with the radio station as the defendant.
We had a three week trial which ended in a hung jury.
We had a retrial. I won. I was awarded £120,000. I had to give my lawyers £115,000 and I was left with £5,000 - which barely covered my expenses for spending a month in Dublin etc. But I had established the principle. Of course - Cleary was gone.
POPE JOHN PAUL 11 TRIP:
In 1979 Pope John Paul came to Ireland. He had a massive youth Mass in Galway. Michael Cleary was John Paul's warm up man.
His other warm up man was Bishop Eamon Casey - who was later found to have had an affair with an American divorcee and fathered a child - Peter - which he disowned.
Cleary and Casey were friends. Surprise! Surprise!
This week it has emerged that Cleary may have a daughter in the USA - Felicia Irwin.
The Church story is that she is not Cleary's child - but the child of a trainee priest who raped Phylis when she was with Cleary.
How many children had Cleary? God (and perhaps the Church) knows.
How many women had Cleary? God (and perhaps the Church) knows.
Long ago I nicknamed Cleary - "Rasputin".
I this Blog I have judged Cleary's behaviour and actions. Only God can judge his soul and appoint him his place in Eternity.
In any event I hope God was nicer to him than he had been to all the people he hurt during his nasty life.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY: