Friday, 17 June 2016




EXCLUSIVE! Overnight this Blog has been provided with a letter that the sacked Parish Finance Committee of Drumbo Parish has sent to the parishioners after they were suddenly dismissed from office by the PP - Father Martin Kelly.

Father Kelly - SUMMARILY sacked PFC !!!

The letter reads:


Dear Parishioner,

Financial Matter Within the Parish of Drumbo and Carryduff  ( "The Parish" )

It is with sincere regret and disappointment that we feel compelled to write to you to express our serious concern about the financial stewardship of the Parish. In January 2010, we were appointed to the Parish Finance Committee ( "PFC" ) by the current parish priest  ( "the PP" ) for an initial three year term in line with the Diocesan Regulations for Parishes Financial Controls and Related  Controls. August 2009 ( the Regulations" ). Our second three year term commenced in January 2013. A year ago, (May 2015) we first raised serious issues of concern , appropriately and respectfully with the salaried parish administrator. Our concerns related to the procurement of certain parish goods and services, and the manner in which the sale of a significant parish property was being handled. Having raised specific concerns in May 2015 , we did not receive the assurances we had requested on several occasions.

In June 2015, the PP summarily removed the entire PFC, six months before the completion of its second three year term. The Regulations state that: "If a member is to be removed the Bishop should be informed and a reason given".

Despite informing the Bishop of our concerns in July 2015, and filing a formal complaint in October 2015, we have yet to receive any assurances to several specific and time critical concerns and/or several more general concerns about the financial stewardship of the Parish.

In the continuing absence of a response to any of our serious concerns, initially raised a year ago, we respectfully encourage you to seek responses, directly from the Diocese, to the following requests and questions:

1. Please confirm that the sale of a significant property bequeathed to the Parish was sold to an unconnected purchaser on an arm's length basis in 2015, at full market price.

2. Has the Diocese fully investigated all the financial stewardship concerns raised by thye former PFC since its removal in June 2015. If so, what were the findings?

3. What are the findings of the Diocesan investigation into the formal complaint raised by the former PFC in October 2015?

4. What reason was given by the PP to the Bishop for his removal of the entire PFC in June 2015?

5. Why was the Parish bank account suspended in July 2015?

6. How did the Diocese secure the release of the Parish bank account?

7. Is the Diocese completely satisfied that the Regulations are being adhered to in full by the PP?

In our attempts to procure these assurances we have forwarded detailed correspondence to the Diocesan chancellor and the Diocesan auditor appointed to conduct the investigation, following our removal by the PP. We have been unable to achieve any such assurances to date despite regular requests.

We believe that the parishioners are entitled to receive comprehensive assurances as to the past, current and future financial stewardship of the Parish. A suggested letter to Bishop Treanor is attached in the event that you are minded to request answers to the questions listed above.

Yours sincerely,

Gary Woods
Peter Grant
Paddy McGrath
James Woods
Conor O'Donnell


I do not know and have never met any of the five men who have signed the above letter. I do not publish this with their knowledge or consent nor have any of them, either individually or collectively, asked me to publish it. I received the letter from a totally independent third source.

This is a very reasonable and rational letter from members of the dismissed PFC.


They and the parishioners are entitled to detailed answers from Bishop Treanor, the Diocesan Chancellor Father Eugene O'Hagan and the Diocesan investigator.



If there are serious irregularities who is responsible?

What happened over the sale of that property? Was it properly sold or are there irregularities about the sale?

Why has Father Martin Kelly behaved the way he has?

Why has Bishop Treanor not acted in this situation that is going on for a year now?

Is Bishop Treanor covering up anything for anyone?

Is Father Eugene O'Hagan covering up anything fore anyone?

Where are the results of the Diocesan investigation?

The Church is the people of God. The parish of Drumbo is the property of the parishioners of the parish. 

It is the people of Drumbo have and are contributing generously towards the parish. The funds are THEIR FUNDS and not Father Kelly's or Bishop Treanor's.


And a few more questions?

The Mysterious Woman of Drumbo?

1. Who is the lady that is virtually living in the Drumbo presbytery with Father Kelly?

2. What is her position in the parish?

3. What is her relationship with Father Kelly?

4. And why did the Parish Secretary ask Bishop Treanor's permission to move her office from the presbytery to the parish hall? Had that anything to do with this mysterious lady?

5. Is there any connection between this mysterious lady and the financial issues?



  1. Is this Drumbogate? Pass it on to one of the major papers. It is public domain now

  2. Why on earth would the PP in this case draw attention to himself and his domestic situation by picking a fight with the PFC. Surely he must have known that questions about his domestic circumstances are going to be raised as well. He appears to be a law onto himself and hardly respectful of the local community.

    1. We do not know the nature of the relationship between the PP and the mystery lady. There may be a perfectly innocent reason for her presence.

  3. Go to the papers. Go to the TVs. Go to Sky news. Simple

    1. It seems to me that the Drumbo parishioners have been very patient. But sometimes patience is seen as weakness by bullies.

      Where has Bishop Treanor being in all this?

      More Treanor inaction?

    2. fruststrated Catholic23 June 2016 at 07:52

      I really dont know what Noel Treanors game is, having read through the letter and now making my way through the comments it is starting to sound similar to Rasharkin Parish. Why does no one in the hierarchy see what a mess NT is making of his job oh wait they are probably all just as bad as each other. That wee rant aside we are all still people of God and must trust he will see us through this mess.


    1. Apparently she is a widow who recently sold her family home.

      Father Kelly could be following the Gospel command to minister to widows and orphans?

    2. Their relationship could be spiritual like St Teresa of Avila and St John of The Cross?

      St Martin of Drumbo and St ??????? of Carryduff?

      PP D&C

    3. In that case can we expect another great work of spirituality to be published - THE ASCENT OF THE GIANTS RING - like John of The Cross' ASCENT OF MOUNT CARMEL?

    4. PP D&C
      If you are a PP, which I doubt, does it take a serious effort on your part to be unpleasant original is it a God-given talent?

    5. ..., sorry - or is it a natural or God-given gift?
      Not used to computers!

    6. Some of these comments take away from the serious issues raised in the original topic. People should stay on the issues not flippant comments

    7. I agree with you completely.

      But it does seem that there is more than one issue in Drumbo.

      But I agree that people should take it seriously. In fact it is too serious for poking fun.

  5. Bishop Buckley, well done on publicising the sad state of affairs in our beloved parish at this time.

    I am thoroughly disillusioned with Bishop Treanor and the Diocese for their lack of explanation and action.

    I am glad that someone sent you this letter we received from our dismissed PFC.

    We, the parishioners, support these people 100%

    Disillusioned parishioner - Drumbo and Carryduff.

  6. Unfortunately not all parishioners have had sight of this missive. It would appear that the former PFC have only given it to a select few.......those whom they feel will support them. Maybe they should look to themselves for an answer ot two!!!!

    1. If that is the case - ALL the parishioners can read it now!

      And if the dismissed PFC do not have the support of the parish - they can say so.

      And if you know more........well, feel free to tell all.

  7. Is it a coincidence that all of this is being published now as Fr. Martin prepares to celebrate his Golden Jubilee on Sunday? It has been stated above that all parishioners support the former PFC 100%. This is definitely not the case. Fr Martin has a lot of support in Carryduff. It seems that some people don't like losing power and as commented on above they do need to take a look at themselves for an answer or two.

    1. Yes it is a coincidence. I have no idea when Martin Kelly's anniversary is.

      And - it does not take away from the questions:

      Are there irregularities in Drumbo and Carryduff parish?

      If not Bishop Treanor should release the results of the investigation and clear everything up.

    2. Coincidence or not,surely when you read the letter you would like fr martin to stand up and answer the questions being put to him.if he has nothing to hide and is innocent then stand up and say so.Why remove people from pfc without discussion first?and why remove all 5 men? People in the parish deserve answers especially around the sale of the property.
      If theres nothing to hide then i would ask why it has taken so long to respond???As for the letter coming out now, i think the pfc have given fr martin and the bishop alot of opportunities to respond and that they have ignored this so the pfc have had no other choice. They have nothing to gain from all of this except to get the truth and do right by the parishioners.

    3. And....the PFC did NOT publish the letter. I did after the third party sent it to me. Fair is fair. Fr Martin and Noel Treanor had A WHOLE YEAR to respond !!!

  8. If the previous commenter believes that the former PFC members have questions to answer then surely they wouldn't have raised the issue in the first place. I'd be interested to hear what the commenter believes they have to answer for?

  9. Another concerned parishoner17 June 2016 at 19:13

    The PFC sent the letter to all parishoners that they had an address for including Father Kelly's mysterious lady friend. Hardly the select few alleged. They issued over 500 letters. All 5 members made it clear the letter was available to any parishoners who hadn't got it. Very poor form to call it a missive. Anyone reading it can see it is Avery detailed well thoughtout letter.

    1. In my opinion the letter was considered, professional, restrained and non-aggressive. In other words not a "missive".

  10. not a lot of money was put into collection plates last sun as i witnessed.

  11. A crooked Catholic priest in Scotland got 10 months last week for embezzlement of £100K church funds. Online gambling, apparently. Astonishingly, friends and parishioners rallied round and raised £42K reimbursement, but the judge, wisely, still sent him down.

    1. MourneManMichael18 June 2016 at 01:39

      Anon @ 22:48, you rightly use the word "Astonishingly", for indeed it is so. Those who contributed must be naive, gullible and/or misguided.
      It seems an unfortunate reality that many contributors to RC coffers have been brought up on a diet of subservience to RC clergy and unquestioning blind adherence to "Holy Mother Church", as personified in the RC clergy.
      Thankfully the ordinary people are now questioning the value of such blind faith, (in the integrity and ability of the clergy), and, like the Drumbo PFC, are rightly demanding answers.
      I commend their stand and for having put the issues into the public domain.
      Only the light of public scrutiny will inhibit the RC church from its customary practices, largely maintained by often well meaning, but seriously incompetent misguided clerics.

  12. Rumour has it that fr Kelly will not be available for any services at all after his golden jubilee celebrations tomorrow.

  13. Reports are that Fr Kelly will be stood down after his golden jubilee celebrations tomorrow.

  14. How reliable are these reports?

  15. I have been uncomfortable with monetary issues since June 2014. Around this time the weekly collection amounts suddenly stopped being printed in the parish Bulletin. What was strange was:
    1. The fact that it just suddenly and randomly stopped being printed, with no explanation (for as long as I can remember this total was published in the Bulletin alongside a note of thanks.)
    2. The amount that was collected in the four weeks building up to this action. There was a sudden and dramatic increase. The average weekly collection was approximately £3,000. With standing orders the weekly collections steadily increased from £2,900 on the 4th May to £4,863 on 8th June 2014.
    Why did the weekly collections stop being printed? To this day we have not been given a sufficient explanation other than the PP asked the secretary to stop printing it. What is more uncomfortable is the knowledge that the PP has now insisted on counting the weekly collections totally by himself. A PP in a parish of our size is a demanding role. I find it peculiar that a busy PP finds time to count thousands every weekend and the total collected is not shared with the parish!?! My wife and I respect the members of our parish who are being brave and seeking the answers that we all deserve.

    1. MourneManMichael19 June 2016 at 10:19

      An interesting comment Anon @ 09:42. Factual info with hard evidence helps readers increase our understanding of the issues.
      Could you, or anyone with concrete info on previous custom and practice in the parish shed any more light on the issues there? And since the cessation of publication of the collection amounts could you help us understand the basis of your knowledge of recent collection amounts?

    2. These comments are nonsense. There are teams of Parish Counters who count the money weekly on a rota basis. The PP is not involved in this, nor has he ever been.

  16. Strange that the collection was stopped being printed in the bulletin are we going to get a reason why from Fr martin.And is it not time to stop having 'second collections' every few sundays.

  17. Another concerned parishoner19 June 2016 at 15:41

    As you will see from my last post I fully support the former PFC but we must be fair. The PP has nothing to do with counting the collection. This is done by a group of honest and trustworthy oarishoners.
    What needs clarified is the parish property in Newtown Park. This has been rented by the same family for a number of years on a year by year basis. They some may say foolishly did improvements to the house on the assumption that they would be staying there for a number of years. This year they were told the lease would not be renewed as the house was needed for me the PP to retire to. They were given notice to quit and had to leave. Surely with all that is going on with the PFC and the mysterious lady the very least the bishop can do is insist that Father Kelly leave the parish when he retires. How could an incoming PP have any chance in restoring faith within the parish if Father Kelly is still there.

    1. Quite right if Fr Kelly is still around i think some parishioners may take exception to him being there.So much for charity. We wonder what Bishop Treanor has to say about this?

  18. So many problems need addressed.....its so sad, lots of people young and old in the parish now go to other churches for mass due to activities in our parish! I feel media need to be informed of more


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    I have been given information and believe that the property in question is 4 Lough Leane Park Carryduff , Co. Down , BT8 8PN. A 3 Bedroom, Bungalow which was sold lately on the open market by Hampton Estates Ormeau Road Belfast.
    I have been living in the parish from 1984 and am also aware of the house in Newton Park which was left to the Parish. Indeed I remember that a priest did live in it until another property in Ivanhoe which was acquired by the parish for a priests living accommodation. I always wondered why the priests of the parish could not share the large detached dwelling that the PP lives in alone! (or maybe not) I do think that Bishop Trainor needs to make a statement and that the "in depended investigation is made public to all parishioners of the parish" No more cover ups please!

  20. Rumours of PP standing down after Jubilee are like the rumours that the Audit would be complete soon!! Wishful thinking that the Bishop would deliver. Time for the Charities Commission to investigate the finances of things as its a registered Charity.

  21. And the people of carryduff are still waiting for sign of the pp going yet???!!!

  22. Rumour is he's waiting on the house in the Parish to be ready for him to move in to!! It's a disgraceful situation that the Bishop has not published the report in to the drumbogate issues! But what else would we expect from someone so useless.

  23. There must be lots of the "report" being redacted it's taking so long to be published�� Must be time for Stephen Nolan to ask some questions��

    Perhaps the investigation team has been moved to work in Maynooth

  24. Looks like the report will never see the light of day. The Bishops statement is an awful response to the parishioners of Carryduff. No priest would want the parish now with the legacy that is left. I call on Bishop Trainor to publish his report in full. It's what we deserve after waiting nearly a year for the audit to complete. He tells us the PP has implemented the recommendations in it but cannot tell us what they where. What wasn't publishing the weekly collection one of them? I don't know a parish that doesn't. And the "Carryduff Problem" just continues to get worse!!

    A disillusioned Drumbo Parishoner

  25. What arrogance from Fr Kelly on Sunday for him to say he is leaving a vibrant parish! He lives in a different world from his parishioners. Thank god he is on his way. Hopefully he will take the ""Carryduff problem" with him. If not that will be one of the big challenges facing the new PP as the parishioners will be looking to see how he handles that. The problem for the new PP will be who he can turn to for advice within such a divided parish. I pray that he can restore the parish to its vibrant state that was there before Fr Kelly destroyed it.

    The disillusioned Drumbo Parishioner who lives in hope now.

  26. What a fresh start today for the arrival of our new PP and Curate. Even the simple act of taking away the wooden Lecturn from the alter gave the sign of their open and welcoming mission for us. God bless them on the journey to rebuild the parish to a vibrant one!

  27. Wonder when fr kelly ' retiring do' will be. There was one for fr colin who thoroughly deserved it. I dont think too many will want to make to make an effort to wish fr kelly well. Good riddance martin

  28. that's a terrible thing to say about a priest.