Saturday, 11 June 2016


In another shocking development in the Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor the parish of Carryduff, south of Belfast is exploding and is in meltdown.

Today’s Irish News newspaper carried a story about serious financial concerns about the parish.

Apparently the parish priest – Father Martin Kelly – had a major showdown with his 5 person finance committee and in one fell swoop removed all 5 from office.

Rumours are circulating about the parish finances in general and about a very valuable property that was left to the parish.

But things have been unsteady for some time in Carryduff. Last year the parish secretary went to Bishop Noel Treanor to seek permission to move her office from the presbytery as she could not cope with things that were happening in the priest’s house.

That followed a stand up row between Father Kelly and Bishop Treanor during a clergy conference outside Newry that has since been referred to in the diocese as “The Carryduff Problem”.

Now Bishop Treanor has appointed an independent auditor to look into Carryduff parish affair.

The Carryduff problem follows only weeks after the Rasharkin problem when the parish priest there was given only hours to vacate.

It looks as if all the dominos are falling in D&C.

And there is more than Rasharkin and Carryduff in meltdown.

There are a number of serious situations brewing in the diocese involving finances and sexual misbehaviour.

If things keep going like this D&C will be a clerical wasteland with big screen in churches replacing resident priests and Mass being broadcast like World Cup matches.

The D&C situation has been on the boil for many years. It now looks as if the lid will  blow off the pot during the reign of the Man from Clogher – a certain Noel Treanor.

Watch this space…………… 


Monsignor Hugh Connolly, president of Maynooth - stepping down to go on sabattical - in wake of Maynooth gay scandal !!!

 •••When two clerical members of staff approached the seminary council to raise their concerns about the poisonous atmosphere in the seminary, as a result of the unfair dismissal of a seminarian, Hugh Connolly and Michael Mullaney told them that it would blow over and be forgotten about in a week.


  1. I've herd there's a storm brewing in St malachy's in coleraine something about the church hall and nursery school . Money is ment to be the cause of it

    1. North, South, East and West. Noel' kingdom ic crumbling.....

  2. Sounds very ominous indeed!

    I, however, would like to pick up on another major development in Down and Connor, a diocese in which I have a number of friends - clerical and lay: the appointment of Fr Timothy Bartlett to the prestigious post of General Secretary to the World Meeting of Families in 2018.

    As a previous contributor on the Maynooth Scandal blog observed, Bartlett's appointment to the episcopal bench is, perhaps, now so inexorable that we should maybe start referring to him as "Bishop-elect Bartlett", or even "Monsignor Tim" (even though the Pope has forbidden that honour to any priest under 65 to stop and discourage - yes, that's right - clerical careerism!)

    Given that Fr Tim is the quintessential careerist cleric - and the exact opposite of EVERYTHING the Papa Francisco recommends in a good priest and bishop - the Irish bishops' courting and wooing of Bartlett is fascinating!

    He is indulged and feted at every turn - even to the extent of having jobs created especially for him - so that his delicate hands will never be sullied - chipping away at the coal face of pastoral life, that is lot of lesser men.

    One would be forgiven for wondering, does 'Bishop-elect' Bartlett "know stuff" about some of the Irish hierarchs and other ecclesiastical worthies??

    The are two priests in the diocese of Down and Connor, in my listening and observing, the mention of whose names invariably causes among fellow clergy, the raising of eyes to heaven, or a knowing look, or a chuckle and, even sometimes a guffaw.

    The two are: (a) the former Dean of the diocesan Cathedral, now bearing courageous public witness to Jesus on the streets of London and spending himself selflessly at the service of old nuns and young university students; and (b) one Fr Timothy Bartlett.

    Tim really is a more polished and astute version of the former Dean

    So does Tim "know stuff" one wonders? It is widely believed that +Dermot Clifford only became a bishop because he knew all about +Eamon Casey's frolics with the lovely Annie. It certainly wasn't because of Dermot's intellectual, human and spiritual gifts.

    There are a number of Irish priests far better qualified to carry out Tim's new role - priests who do not cause a heavenward roll of the eyes - priests who enjoy the respect of both clergy and laity.

    Like I said, it is fascinating to watch Fr Bartlett's ability to mesmerise the Irish hierarchy and, despite - for example - his association with the tainted Cardinal, his apparently unstoppable preferment.

    Well, I suppose, at least Tim's linguistic skills will be very useful in preparing for an international event.... Oh, that's right, I forgot.... he only speaks English.... Hmmmm.

    English observer.

    1. All aboard the ecclesiastical HMS PINAFORE.

    2. Tim is strangely hot, actually. It's just a pity that if you Google him you get to read all about the gay cake row! That said, if you omit the 'Fr' in front of his name, you get a massage teacher in Bristol!

    3. Tim Bartlett "hot"? Whatever floats your boat, I suppose lol. A massage teacher in Bristol? Well who knows? He has dabbled in entrepreneurial schemes as varied as restaurant chains and Memorial cards??? Perhaps he practiced reflexology on the Wounded Healer to get him through a bad day?

    4. Timothy Bartlett has been frantically snogging the ass of Nuncio Brown since he landed in Ireland.

      Its pathetic and ultimately tragic, that men, who are supposed to be spiritually astute for the wellbeing of the People of God, discerning worthy and holy leaders to shepherd them - fall for the vacuous flattery of unctuous, graspingly ambitious and self-serving sycophants like Bartlett.

      Are they really that vain and stupid??

  3. I would not be in the least surprised if TB "knows stuff".

    He has been furiously ingratiating himself with bishops and "persons of influence" since his days as a seminarian.

    He is a very skilled kisser of ass. He is a well-oiled and fawning sycophant to absolutely ANYONE he thinks "useful" to his "career".

    He is a fraud, a gossip, a maker of mischief, worldly, full of intrigue, a slick piece of work and a smooth operator. He is self-serving, self-driven and utterly self-interested.

    You know what? If they make him a bishop, good luck to them... they deserve him.

    He is just the very thing, a perfect addition, for a visionless and rudderless "hierarchy" steering the ship towards the rocks!!

    We live in an age in the Church when genuine spiritual values count for nothing - an age of crass cynicism and pure selfishness.

    An age in which rotting spiritual corpses mince around, swathed in silk and satin, wafting their aroma of death around the sanctuaries of God's Church.

    It has happened before. God Himself will deal with it and the performing acolytes of self-love will come to a very sorry end.

    It is a Cult of Self-Love that has arisen. We are witnessing the eruptions - again and again - in Armagh City, Rasharkin, Carryduff and who knows where else next - of bombs planted by men who have used the Sacred Priesthood for their own amusement, entertainment and self-serving ambition.

    It will bring them ruin. TB may well get the purple buttons he craves but let him take to his meditation (Ha! some hope!) the words: "For what shall it profit a man should he gain the whole world....." He should know the rest of that warning.

    Let faithful priests and the faithful laity, pray hard and batten down the hatches. A terrible storm is coming. Let it come. Bring it on. Let it clear away the dead and rotten wood.

    It will be painful for faithful priests and the Catholic people but let the axe fall where it needs.

    1. 100% agree.

      Timo is a master of intrigue and mischief.

      All that matters to him is that he gets his magenta mantle.

      A sad comment on the Church leadership that they are taken in by such a fraud. Although he has some ability, he is entirely lacking in sincerity and substance - to say nothing of priestly spirituality.

      Ah well... I fear it is going to get very much worse.

      But, fear not, there is a God in Heaven...

  4. What is Fr Bartletts history. Where is he from etc

  5. It seems to be all going on in D & C a bit like the old Daz soap powder advert. Is D & C typical of Ireland in general. Why dont some of these parish/es jump ship and affiliate to the Oratory

  6. A lot if the problem I carryduff is regarding a particular family who think they own/ run the parish. They all gother on great with Fr Martin until he disagreed with them.

    1. I've seen this in the past person/s thinking they own the parish. Thing is that clergy can be moved about while laity remain static. I've put up with stuff in the past that I would not entertain nowadays.

    2. Very true, let's not rush to judgement on Carryduff. There is an independent financial audit. The PP may be entirely blameless. We all know how, in some parishes, certain families act like dynasties.

    3. There are other problems I Carryduff.

    4. How can the audit be "independent" when it is the Church funded auditors that are conducting it? Also in any other business the people being audited on accusations that have been tabled would be suspended pending the investigation being concluded. How can an audit take 8 months. There must be a lot of "stones" to turn over. The final report should reflect the time taken to investigate this and will it be published so that the parishioners can have some transparency on this?

    5. MourneManMichael14 June 2016 at 18:07

      Anon @ 11:52, you make excellant points and put valid questions. I'm sure you ask them rhetorically, and not in expectation of any truthful,sensible or believable answers from the diocesan authority.
      For indeed common among observers, such is the base level of objective practical or moral authority invested in today's ecclesiastical hierarchy.
      The "Truth" emerging? No chance!

  7. I have been a very keen observer of matters Catholic at both national and diocesean level in the UK and Ireland for more years than I care to remember. The things allegedly happening in these parishes in Down and Connor presently are par for the course and are really the day to day stuff of diocesean life over the years.
    I've seen many wannabes like Fr Bartlett over the years. I even knew two "aspiring bishops" who, while visiting Rome on holiday, took themselves into Gamarrellis ( the episcopal tailor) and were measured for soutanes!
    I knew others in various diocese who were " close" to the seat of power and even more who "knew lots about lots" and in almost every case they failed to get a mitre.
    One character got as far as Auxillary. Within weeks the Ordinary died. A new bishop was appointed and "dumped" the former Auxillary into a small quiet parish. In fact the story goes that on return to the sacristy after the new bishop's ordination the newly installed bishop told the former Auxillary to pack his bags before he even removed his vestments.
    Fr Bartlett can be assured of this. If he is a willing horse he will be used and used. But there will always be other younger aspiring candidates at his back and others at his back with knives. You reap what you sew. A change of Nuncio or Metropolitan can be enough to scupper his chances.
    Btw, whether they would admit it or not staff in the nunciature will read this and other blogs for gossip and news. And when the day comes when an episcopal vacancy arises everything will be taken into consideration. Hence why many" odds on favourites" fall at the last fence and a dark horse romp home!!
    The Watcher

    1. Very true, The Watcher. I'm sure Timmy has, at least, been looking longingly at the lovely gowns and frocks in the window of Gammarelli's. Perhaps, indeed, he has been in for a measuring. However, "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip"!!! ;-)

  8. Pat can you elaborate on other problems in Carryduff ?

  9. Tim Bartlett will get Clogher when that diocese becomes vacant soon......either him or Eugene Sweeney the Chancellor in Armagh who +Eamon Martin is actively promoting for a bishopric. Watch this space!

    1. Archbishop Brown, if you are reading this, send us Eugene Sweeney - not the other boyo!! No thanks!!

    2. I thought Bishop McDaid of Clogher was only 70, does he not have to wait until 75 until he can retire from Clogher?

    3. Bishop Mc Daid is in poor health - he suffers from Parkinson's......his mind is sharp as a razor but his physical health is beginning to suffer. It's an open secret in Clogher that he will resign soon. What type of guy is Eugene Sweeney?

    4. Thanks for replying. I didn't know he was suffering from Parkinsons. Apparently he is a good man.

  10. Eugene is a good man. He would be a very good choice.

  11. You have all got Fr Timothy Bartlett badly wrong. He told me himself the other night.

    We were out for a celebratory meal to honour Elizabeth II’s 90th. A lovely feast, in The Dog and Duck, of Oysters, Roast Goose and Charlotte Rousse.

    Tim turned to me, as he sipped his pint of Magners, ‘they’ve got me all wrong, ya know, Ted. My only ambition - ever - was for “the higher gifts” and to be a simple priest, in a quiet little parish, like Ballymurphy or Twinbrook”.

    “It’s what that old chap Malvolio once said, Ted”, he continued, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”.

    “It’s not my fault, Ted, that I fall into all three categories!” My heart went out to him, as his eyes filled up and his voice cracked with emotion.

    “I’ve tried, Ted, I've really tried”, he said, scarfing down another oyster.

    "A few years ago, I heard there was a vacancy for a missionary to Tallaght. I immediately marched in to the Wounded Healer and told him I was volunteering”.

    “Well Ted”, said Tim, “didn’t the Wounded Healer rise up out of the bed and, on bandaged hands and knees, come clambering across the floor after me! It was most unseemly".

    "He was clinging to my trouser leg, making it most awkward for me to walk towards the door. The poor man was howling and wailing: Nnnnnooooooo!” No one knew where to look".

    “Honestly, Ted, no one knows what I go through”, Tim went on. “All this talk of robes and titles and bishoprics. Sure I’m happy in an old Slappy Joe Tee-shirt and a pair of latex cycling shorts, for goodness sake!

    Just let me run around somewhere like Poleglass ot Ballymun. I’ll be as happy as the day is long. And now, Ted, this latest penance they’ve given me – this World Meeting of Families carry on. Struth!”

    “I’ve always been guided by Cardinal Hinsley’s advice to his young secretary one day when he was trying on a new mitre he had bought in Harrods: “Young man, says His Eminence, “never aspire to a mitre! It will become a crown of thorns!”

    Just at that very moment, our charming young waiter arrived and announced: “Your goose is cooked, M’lud!”

  12. MourneManMichael13 June 2016 at 16:02

    Anon @ 11:09. It's a cracker! One's like this, with just the right mix of truth and imagination make this blog so enjoyable, ......and revealing.

  13. Timo and his "rise" - symptomatic of a sick and dysfunctional Church and hierarchy. There are too many Timo types.

  14. It is about time Timo got a bit of the smell of the sheep about him otherwise +Francis will not be granting him his wish of a bishopric

  15. lets get the deacons in

  16. why can we not have the deacons in its about time the r.c. church moved with times

  17. fr kelly stood on pulpit a few years ago and said he was just back from a lovely 2 week holiday in florida visiting relatives. myself and other parishoners im sure would be glad to have the chance to do the same.- if only

  18. why was the weekly collection not printed in the weekly bulletin for quite some time.Now we hear Fr martin took it upon himself to do the counting.Maybe the second collection on certain Sundays will come to an end as well

  19. All this is very sad especially for the parishioners of Drumbo & Carryduff who has supported the parish faithfully down through the years. Bishop Treanor & Father Kelly owe a full and honest explanation to all the decent people of this parish a.s.a.p

  20. Could someone with information please tell us in Holy Family Parish,Belfast why we now suddenly have two Australian priests in the absence of Fr Paul Strain -- Is he ill? The only thing we were told was that he would "be gone for some months" Please trust us enough to tell us!

  21. nearly another week passes and still no word from fr. kelly or bishop treanor.c'mon lads lets hear the truth about 'drumbogate'

  22. has anyone heard of any developments involving Fr Kelly in Drumbo & Carryduff parish, or has the outcome of the independent inquiry been made available to the parishoniers?

  23. 6 weeks into the carryduff & drumbo problem. how long will it take for the independant inquiry to reveal what really is going on in this beautiful parish, or will it just be brushed under the carpet and hoping it will be forgotten about. C'mon Noel lets hear what the word is from the palace on the Somerton rd. surely the good people of this parish deserve an explanation about why the finance committee was sacked and bank account suspended.

  24. 13 weeks gone bye since the Irish News article. Over 10 months since the formal complaint to the diocese. What will it take to get the audit published!! Some follow up journalism by the Irish News?? And the "Carryduff problem" continues to "carry on" even after Bishop Trainor challenged the PP at Dromentine. Absolute disgrace. No need for 4 masses in one of the biggest parishes in the Diocese going by numbers at the 3 held each weekend over the summer. People are walking away from this church and thats a disaster with over 2,500 families registered in the parish. Do you have contacts in the Northern papers Pat to get these questions back on the agenda?

  25. why has the weekly collection not been published in the parish bulletin in Carryduff lately.Surely the pfc and the parishoners are entitled to answers to the present problems or will noel wait till Fr kelly has retired.

  26. just read Bishop Treanor's statement about the Carryduff problem. It does not go far enough and a lot of questions remained unanswered. A change of PP would be a good start

  27. Having also read Bishop Treanor's statement,putting it mildly it is a complete whitewash, Fr kelly has lost the trust and respect of the parishioners. Maybe time for a new parish priest Noel