Tuesday, 2 August 2016



A former trainee priest who alleges he was harassed by a member of staff while studying at the national seminary in Maynooth is to meet members of the Garda sexual assault unit over the coming days to file a formal complaint against the priest.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous for now, told the Irish Independent that the priest concerned was meant to be his "spiritual father" who would help him to "discern if God was calling" him to serve in the priesthood, and also to "act as a support and guide in living a chaste and celibate life".

Instead, he alleges that the priest placed his hand on him inappropriately on a number of occasions, and that he asked him very intimate questions concerning his sexuality during meetings. This, he said, was not part of the priest's remit.

He also told salacious jokes during the meetings.

"I am now, thank God, a happily married man. My faith was severely shaken after my experience in Maynooth, and I suffered from severe depression for a long time," he recounted.
He said he would "definitely not suggest Maynooth to any young man currently considering a vocation".

"I am not homophobic - my main issue with the priest is that he grievously abused his position of power and influence," he said, adding that he believes the Church has lost many vocations because some members of staff in Maynooth have behaved inappropriately and because seminarians' grievances are not listened to.
The man, who joined the seminary at 26, reported his experience at the hands of the priest to the college president and vice president in Maynooth, and though he was invited to return to his studies, he declined, saying the priest concerned needed to be "investigated and disciplined".


However, an internal complaints panel which investigated his claims did not find any grounds on which to discipline the priest.


"I was highly disillusioned and depressed with the Irish Church at the time," he said.
"When I was in Maynooth there was an atmosphere of neurotic fear among seminarians who loved the Church and wanted to be holy priests. Seminarians felt they had no support from their bishops in relation to voicing their concerns about problems with priests or formation programmes in the seminary.

"This type of atmosphere protects and enables abusers."
Separately, another former seminarian who studied in Maynooth for three years has told the Irish Independent that he believes part of the problem which prevents abusive behaviour by staff and senior seminarians being tackled in Maynooth is the culture of secrecy that pervades the seminary and the Church.

"Within nine weeks of commencing formation, each seminarian is summoned by order by the president to enforce the signing of confidentiality agreements forbidding the disclosure of any activities - heard, seen or experienced - within the seminary, including disclosure to our families," he said.
He likened the practice to confidentiality agreements signed by victims of child sexual abuse, and said it contributed to the "culture of secrecy within the Church".

"The hierarchy of the college still enforces this same type of emotional abuse and control over its own seminarians, stripping them of their liberty and human rights to speak freely," the disappointed former trainee priest said.
He claimed the compulsory agreements are "deceitfully presented to the fledgling and naive seminarian without prior warning, explanation or consultation".
They are told they must be signed when presented, and the seminarian is given no choice or any opportunity for understanding or seeking advice on the agreement.

He said the experience had left him "feeling disgusted, intimidated and ambushed".
Meanwhile, the editor of the 'Catholic Voice' newspaper has warned that seminarians who report inappropriate behaviour are being expelled from Maynooth, as happened last May.

Anthony Murphy said: "It is unfathomable - the one who speaks up is punished, while those engaging in behaviour which the Church regards as objectively sinful remain in formation for the Catholic priesthood.


"The only thing that can save Maynooth is a complete overhaul - a new leadership team needs to be appointed."

He also called on the bishops to publish the full report of the Apostolic Visitation and appoint a senior bishop to ensure the recommendations made within it are implemented in full.
Separately, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin (pictured inset) has explained that his decision not to send trainee priests to St Patrick's College, Maynooth was due to a worrying "atmosphere" at the national seminary.
Following on from the Irish Independent's story yesterday, Dr Martin said that he "wasn't happy with Maynooth".

"There seems to be an atmosphere of strange goings-on there, it seems like a quarrelsome place with anonymous letters being sent around," he told the 'Irish Times'.

"I don't think this is a good place for students. However, when I informed the president of Maynooth of my decision, I did add 'at least for the moment'."


The country's largest Catholic diocese has confirmed it will not be sending any of its trainee priests to study at the national seminary in Maynooth this autumn.
Amid reports of a crisis at the Co Kildare seminary, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has now opted to send his student priests to the Irish College in Rome.
The seminary is headed up by Dubliner Monsignor Ciaran O'Carroll, who has worked closely with Dr Martin in the past.
Three trainee priests from the archdiocese of Dublin will move to the Rome this autumn to further their studies and training.

The seminarians are all at various stages in their training.
There are roughly 60 resident seminarians studying at Maynooth.

Archbishop Martin is a trustee of Maynooth along with the three other catholic archbishops in the Irish Church and a number of bishops.
"I have my own reasons for doing this," the Archbishop said.

His decision comes amid growing unease over accusations of inappropriate behaviour among some of the seminarians in Maynooth after it was claimed that some of them have, until recently, been using the gay dating app Grindr.
Maynooth has insisted that robust procedures are in place to handle such complaints against seminarians.

Playing down any link between his decision and the current crisis engulfing Maynooth, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin added that he had made his decision before allegations about inappropriate behaviour at the Co Kildare seminary had arisen.
According to the current issue of the international Catholic journal, 'The Tablet', Dr Martin said he had made the decision "some months ago" and informed the other bishops of his intention at the summer general meeting of the Irish hierarchy in June.
A second bishop is also reported to have decided to send his seminarians to Rome this autumn.
However, the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth was unable to confirm this to the Irish Independent as the bishop is attending World Youth Day in Poland and was unavailable for comment.

The suggestion that a gay subculture exists in Maynooth first emerged in May of this year after an anonymous letter suggested seminarians and staff members at Maynooth had been using the gay dating app Grindr.
Msgr Hugh Connolly told 'The Irish Catholic' the church intended to "thoroughly deal" with any concerns regarding such behaviour.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese of Dublin confirmed that three Dublin seminarians are Rome-bound this autumn.
Acknowledging that the number of seminarians for Dublin is down, the Archbishop stated: "What is more important for me is the quality of the men who come forward and the training that they receive."
Meanwhile, a new group called VAMA - Voices Against Maynooth Abuse - has been formed by controversial cleric, Bishop Pat Buckley, who is in a long-term gay civil partnership.
VAMA has invited current and past seminarians to reveal any 'unorthodox' behaviour they have experienced or witnessed in Maynooth.

The country's largest Catholic diocese has confirmed it will not be sending any of its trainee priests to study at the National Seminary in Maynooth this autumn.

Instead, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has opted to send his student priests to the Irish College in Rome.

His decision is a new setback to the seminary amid growing unease over accusations of inappropriate behaviour among some student priests in Maynooth - after it was revealed that some seminarians have, until recently, been using the gay dating app Grindr.
Archbishop Martin is a trustee of Maynooth, along with the three other Catholic archbishops and a number of bishops.

"I have my own reasons for doing this," Archbishop Martin said.
But he added that he had made the decision "some months ago".

The seminarians from the Dublin diocese are all at various stages in their training.
Dr Martin informed the other bishops of his intention at the summer general meeting of the Irish hierarchy in June.

In the wake of the Grindr scandal, the National Seminary in Maynooth has insisted that "robust procedures" are in place to handle any such complaints against seminarians.


The Church has been under sustained attack for more than a decade.
Abject failure to deal head on with a series of scandals has done irreparable damage. There has been a clamour amongst its enemies to tear down its structures; but by far the greatest reputational threat to its standing has come from within.
Confirmation by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin that he would no longer be sending priests of the Dublin Diocese to St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and would instead be sending them to the Irish College in Rome, begs many questions.
Dr Martin has refused to elaborate, obliquely referring to "strange goings on," and "a quarrelsome atmosphere."
Neither, one would imagine, would be conducive for preparation for a life of service. All the same, the difficulty is that refusal to clarify what precisely is the problem will not do much for either the standing of the college or, indeed, the church.
For centuries, Maynooth College has been one of the most respected institutions in the country. Founded back in 1795, by 1850 it had become the largest seminary in the world.
So it is simply not good enough for Archbishop Martin to decide to no longer send seminarians there without offering a proper explanation.
The church has endured a firestorm of anger for its failure to learn from the past. The main charge levelled against it was that it continually elevated its own interests ahead of those of its members. Avowed atheist Richard Dawkins chided that: "religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time."

Archbishop stops trainee priests going to 

Alleged sexual harrassment at St Patrick’s College reported to Garda in Dublin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “atmosphere of strange goings-on.” Photograph: Alan Betson

o Email App

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin is to cease sending trainee priests from the diocese to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, because of a worrying “atmosphere” at the national seminary.

Meanwhile a former Maynooth seminarian has in recent days made a complaint to the Garda in Dublin about alleged sexual harassment at the college between 2007 and 2009.
Asked why Dublin is to send its three seminary students next autumn to the Irish College in Rome rather than to Maynooth, Dr Martin told The Irish Times he “wasn’t happy” with Maynooth.
“There seems to be an atmosphere of strange goings-on there, it seems like a quarrelsome place with anonymous letters being sent around,” he said in Krakow, Poland, where he was attending World Youth Day. “I don’t think this is a good place for students. However, when I informed the president of Maynooth of my decision, I did add ‘at least for the moment’.”

Anonymous allegations

Dr Martin’s decision follows anonymous allegations being circulated about seminarian activities in Maynooth, including that some had been using a gay dating app.

He made no comment on those reports, saying only that he felt the Irish College in Rome offered “a good grounding” in the Catholic faith.

Irish College rector Msgr Ciarán O’Carroll confirmed the three Dublin seminarians would be “transferring” there, adding this was normal practice as this was the time of year when bishops nominated students for the college.

Last year, 12 Irish seminarians studied at the college along with 38 international priests who lived there while pursuing postgraduate studies. Maynooth currently has 55 seminarians.
A former Maynooth seminarian told The Irish Times yesterday how, as a seminarian there from 2007-2009, he felt he was being continuously sexually harassed by an individual. He made a formal complaint to authorities. An internal inquiry was set up which found the allegations unproven.

Senior church figures

College authorities tried to persuade him to forget it and stay on but he said he felt so aggrieved he could not. He brought his complaints to other senior church figures and it was suggested he might attend a seminary abroad.

Now in his mid 30s, he is married and works in Dublin.

He said it remained a concern to him that the individual about whom he had complained at Maynooth never faced any discipline, while a seminarian who witnessed an incident he complained about was badly treated later.

Efforts to contact Maynooth yesterday about his allegations proved unsuccessful.


It has taken me MONTHS to get anyone even remotely interested into the abuse(s) that are taking place in Maynooth seminary.

For trying to raise the issues I have been vilified and threatened.

Now the scandal is seeing the full light of day.

Maynooth now needs to be fully investigated.

Any alleged crimes need to be reported to the Garda.

I know the name of the priest who has been accused of sexual harassment / assault by a former seminarian.

I will be conveying that name to the Bishops and Maynooth Trustees today.

In fact I have already given his name this morning to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

He should stand down IMMEDIATELY pending the outcome of the Garda investigation.

I fact I think that the position of all the Maynooth priests is now UNTENABLE !


Tel: ROI: 01 5133199   UK: 07900 287283


083 831 3151.






TODAY - 11.40 am

Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Michael Neary
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly

2nd August 2016


You will be aware from the national media that a priest involved with Maynooth Seminary stands accused of sexual harassment / assault of a former seminarian.

That priest has now been named to the Garda by the alleged victim. His name is Father xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

As the Trustees of Maynooth I am hereby formally requesting you to have the priest stand aside until the Garda – and possibly – the Church have – have concluded all investigations.

I would ask that you, or some person representing you, confirm to me that the priest in question has been stood down.

If not, I will presume you are taking no action and in my view you will become a party to the alleged abuse by nature of your inaction and coveup.

Sincerely yours,

+ Pat Buckley




  1. it is truly shocking that a group of unworthy and unsuitable men - faculty and students - have been permitted to tarnish a venerable and beloved institution by their disgraceful antics.

    The inertia of the bishops and trustees is breathtaking in its irresponsibility! Talk about dereliction of duty!

    We Irish Catholics are very poorly served by this appalling gather-up of supposed Christian leaders in the current Irish bishops conference.

  2. How coincidental you chose that image Pat!!....

    The Triumph of The Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Irish Church is about to Begin!!!!... The Angel appeared at Fatima in Spring, Summer & Autumn of 1916 to prepare the three future Saints for the coming of the Blessed Virgin... This story first.broke in the spring, escalated in the Summer, & made it to the Media on the first day of Autumn!...

    It's only a matter of time before The Lord & His Blessed Mother get the reverence they deserve restored in that Seminary & in the hearts of the Irish People!!

  3. Why has it taken so long for this seminarian to report this to the Garda? This whole situation seems strange. Did he not go to the police when it originally happened? They told him he had no case if i remember correctly. Anyone know the details?

    1. Do you not understsnd YET that it takes victims time to be in a frame of mind to come forward.

      This is the first time the Garda will investigate a Maynootg allegation.

      Are you one of those who wishes to offer victims abuse and ridicule when they eventually get the strength to speak ????

  4. The only reason there was anonymous allegations about the dating app is because the same men were on the app looking for guys too. Lol

  5. When is HornyAndyX going to be put on the blog?

    1. Is he any relation to the golfer Rory McElroy?

    2. Was that a deliberate misspelling?

  6. The place needs sorting out. I never remember any confidentiality agreement. If it were normal practice it would have existed in all seminaries. Strange as it may sound i'm glad I didn't submit to the reconditioning attempts of the church before I left. This whole degradation of human life stinks. That being said Rome had the Colosseum. The "buildings" have now become psychological in nature.

  7. Pat, HornyAndyX is famous in Maynooth. He's the second in command after the chief.

    1. At this time I am not publishing HornyAndyX's name and the reports about him.

  8. I am happy the Garda will be involved. We can leave it to the professionals to find justice. Justice for the ex-seminarian or justice for the priest whatever way it falls. Let us see who is telling the truth. May God bless them both.

  9. Gobsmacked listening to Fr Brendan Hoban on Newstalk defending Maynooth.He is a priest I admired. Very surprised at his attitude blaming those that were dismissed as disgruntled

    1. He is a blind defender of priests. A priests trade union hack.

    2. Unsurprisingly the ACP website is saying nothing about this major story. They seem more obsessed with the psychodramas of Tony Flannery who is making a new career out of his persecution complex. He is being feted all over the place including the US. The way he goes on you'd swear Rome had him chained up in a dungeon with a gag covering his mouth. He's never been as vocal and seems to have the full support of his community.

    3. They have now issued a statetent on the ACP website but it seems they are blaming the whistleblowers for being right wing conservatives, anti catholic bloggers and disgruntled seminarians who were asked to leave Maynooth due to their unsuitability. This is reminiscent of the old dynamic where the powers that be blamed and tried to silence the victims of clerical abuse.

  10. Very interesting interview with D Martin on RTE radio news at one.It will probably be on the RTE Radio player later on

    1. I see that Diarmuid Martin said on RTE News at One tha:

      Maynooth was not a fir place for training priests.

      He went on to say that the discussions on blogs about Maynooth was "quarrelsome".

      I do not know if he was referring to this Blog?

      He has also spoken in recent days about "goings on" at Maynooth.

      For some reason he wants to use oblique words about Maynooth at present.

      Hopefully, as a Maynooth Trustee, he is acting in the background?

      But I think the Irish public, especially Irish Catholics deserve INFORMATION and CLARIFICATION.

      "Goings on" can mean anything - drinking, child abuse, heroine use, homosexual activities, cigarette smoking, murder ..........................................

    2. http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_newsatone.xml

  11. There is talk in Dublin that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has pulled out at the last minute from an interview on RTE Radio 1's LIVELINE show with Joe Duffy?

    1. Does the Catholic Church not teach that its a sin to pull out at the last minute?

      Mary. Cork.

    2. Probably afraid he would be crucified if listeners called Joe on a live show

  12. MourneManMichael2 August 2016 at 14:09

    In considering the Maynooth saga, perhaps we need to be realistic about the difficulties involved in "proving" sexual abuse to the satisfaction of a court of law.
    What is alleged seems primarily sexual improprieties between adults. The impropriety relates in first instance to the abuse of power, where "dependent" young men have been targeted for sexual purposes by older men using their positions of power and influence in a controlling abusive fashion.
    Secondly, it is alleged that while some of those "older" men are older fellow seminarians, more reprehensibly, others are ordained priests holding positions of power and influence over the victimised students.
    Unpalatable as it is, do we have to acknowledge that with respect to sexual behaviour between adults, the first "hurdle" for successful prosecution will be to prove that certain unlawful actions actually took place and furthermore took place against the victim's expressed wishes. Without corroboration both of the act and the coercion involved courts may well be reluctant to convict unless it can be proven "beyond reasonable doubt" that "force" has been improperly used. While "force" is usually considered as physical coercion, to what extent would a court accept emotional coercion as "unlawful force" even if the prosecution/garda could surmount the first hurdle of proving that such coercion was involved? [Victim's account and statement being subjected to legal cross examination in court by a defence barrister pointing out lack of corroborating evidence/one man's word against another's bothe that certain actions took place and that they were non-consensual???]

    Again, however unpalatable it may be, while many will have religious and moral outrage both at the allegations of supposedly chaste prominent clerics engaging both in clandestine and public sexual activities, and furthermore, abusing their power and control over seminarians to gratify their sexual impropriety, we have to question to what extent these "unclerical" behaviours are illegal matters to be dealt with by the garda and courts. Unethical, unclerical etc they may be, but were they illegal?

    In offering these perspectives I do not in any way make light of these matters, and certainly mean no disrespect or discredit to anyone abused, or those like +Pat seeking to address the issues. Those seeking to expose the truth are to be well commended.
    I'm not a sceptic: just one who in the past spent too much professional time in courts involving abuse.

  13. It's now the main headline on the RTE news website.

    1. Meanwhile it's reported on Clare FM that the bishop elect Fr Monahan is happy with Maynooth. Whitewashing no longer works. People aren't gombeens.

  14. The interviewer on RTE Radio 1 Drivetime news programme pulled no punches with Msgr Connolly whom he met in Maynooth today. The item was substantial covering 20 minutes.

  15. Very impressed with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's interview on RTÉ radio this afternoon - many of the other bishops are spineless.

  16. Yes DM was impressive on RTE Radio. He has lit the fuse....now let'wait for th bang!

  17. The lights will be burning late tonight in AraCoeli as the 'Blouse' talks tactics with his team.Hitler in his bunker as the Russians advance on Berlin...... lead by Bishop Pat. Love a bit of drama! Ha ha

  18. Pat... you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!!

    1. Brilliant, 19:40! Haven't bellylaughed for such a long time. Thank you.

  19. The Irish News is very slow at picking this story up....are they still tipping the forelock??

  20. Pat
    Can I suggest that Maynooth is preserved as a spooky monument to the state condoned abuse.....bit like Auswitz. When the state was formed our politicians bowed to the likes of Archbishop McQuaid and church and state evolved into something quite disfunctional. It is reparation time! Maybe Maynooth could be developet into a social housing scheme for refugees? I am ahead of the rest of this blog....you are pressing for its closure. I am thinking ahead as to re-use of the site!

  21. Pat....the bulldozers are fired up. Will put a price into Ara Coeli tonight for first phase of demolition works but under health and safety regs we can't move in till Dermot gets the we lads safely off to Rome.
    PS. Heard the health and safety in Rome is better than Gaynooth but still less than satisfactory


  22. So is this protest still going ahead come september?

  23. I saw Archbishop Martin on the Six One News (and lead again on 9 news) and I thought he was very clear and honest as to the nature of his concern - then they played a clip of the President of the College Monsignor Connolly - who basically denied anything was wrong - my God the arrogance of the man! No one listening to him would have bought his BS for one minute - head in sand syndrome!

  24. Just seeing this now on the 9 o clock new - Give Diarmuid Martin the red hat now and make him Primate of All-Ireland rather than Eamo

  25. The Holy Father needs to personally intervene NOW and remove all associated with this disgraceful situation (with the exception of AB Martin and Bishop Cullinan who seem to be taking a stand) and impose his own people

  26. We've made utv online news. Thanks be to God

  27. The church always talks in riddles and oblique coded language when answering a difficult qwestion. They treat the laity like idiot children. Given the regeim that exists Bishop Martin could have been more direct. He deserves our thanks and support. The man has backbone unlike that invertibrate 'the Blouse'


  28. and to think for this huge media frenzy, all it took was one of the gay seminarians to leak the others' grindr accounts (on the condition that his name wouldn't be mentioned). I wonder if the others will retaliate?

  29. Pat
    I can feel something big comming down the pipe.... should I build an arc to escape catholic ireland with my wife and kids......or stay and complete the demolition contract on Gaynooth?
    Regards Rasputin

  30. 23.43 you are looking at a house of cards. It tumbles whilst we speak. Irish catholics ultimatley must speak with their wallets to cure these ills. Only when the catholics of ireland withdraw financial support from these 'heretics'will order be restored.


  31. Dis grindr ting is new to me. A grindr is a ting we use on construction sites to sharpen blunt tools. If these clergy are using their tools as much as this site would suggest....blunt would not be the word for it Ha Ha!

  32. Dis grindr ting is new to me. A grindr is a ting we use on construction sites to sharpen blunt tools. If these clergy are using their tools as much as this site would suggest....blunt would not be the word for it Ha Ha!

  33. Cancel the World Family Fiasco in 2018. The Irish bishops' have betrayed Pope Benedict by vetoing the findings of his Apostolic Visitation into Maynooth - suppressing it and refusing to act. Also, the ubiquitous "Timo", the 'Todd Unctuous' Spin Doctor to "The Wounded Healer" and close friend of some of the Maynooth crew, has been afforded a prominent role in the proceedings. HOW ON EARTH DID THAT HAPPEN???? Get them all out!

    Dublin Diocese.

  34. This is all over the media today, including the fore-lock touching Irish News. The rst of the bishops are ranged against Archbishop Martin, who, once again, is isolated and abandoned before scandal.

    Irish Catholics trust Diarmuid Martin. They do not trust/know the other three archbishops. Diarmuid has a proven rack record.

    Armagh Eamy, of the dodgy upper lip, is throwing his lot in, fair and square, with Gaynooth. Is he defending the Wounded Healer from further injuries to his heavily bruised posterior? The other two, O'Reilly and Neary, are unknown outside their own dioceses. On the national scene, they are quiet as church mice.

    Like I said, Dermo has a proven track record nationally. He has proactively reached out to the broken victims of clerical sexual abuse.

    People look to him for guidance and direction. He has withdrawn his students from the national seminary. His episcopal colleagues are still firmly backing Gaynooth.

    These questions have already been posed and are pertinent:

    Are some of DM's fellow bishops on Grindr too? What other prominent Irish clerics, in Gaynooth and elsewhere, are also using the Grindr app?

    How high does this scandal reach into the echelons of the Irish Catholic Church and hierarchy?

    In short, what's the craic lads?

    Dublin Dowsie