Monday, 5 December 2016

FR HUGH KENNEDY

FATHER HUGH KENNEDY





YESTERDAY'S SUNDAY LIFE newspaper carried a front page story saying that Father Hugh Kennedy - the former administrator of St Peter's Cathedral Belfast, is being quizzed once again about a historic abuse complaint.


Image result for father hugh kennedy
FATHER KENNEDY WITH BISHOP NOEL TREANOR


A few years ago Fr Kennedy was investigated by the police and by the Church over another allegation and he was cleared to return to ministry as the adm of the cathedral.

On that occasion Bishop Treanor appeared with him to oversee the re-installation.

Then, for some strange reason, Father Kennedy left the cathedral and went to work in London as a chaplain to some nuns in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

In London he began to hang around Westminster Cathedral and at least on one occasion he con-celebrated Mass with Cardinal Vincent Nichols. 

Image result for Cardinal vincent nichols

It became well known in Westminster that Father Kennedy hoped to be appointed to the staff of the London Cathedral - or at least be on the Mass and Confessions rota there.

To that end he ingratiated himself with some Westminster notable clerics - the administrator of Westminster Cathedral - Canon   Christopher Tuckwell  and the secretary to the English Conference of Catholic bishops - the Welsh man - Father Christopher Thomas


Canon Christopher Tuckwell
CANON CHRISTOPHER TUCKWELL
Apparently Father Kennedy has treated both men to fine dining experiences in London's best.


Fr Chris Thomas, General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols
FATHER CHRISTOPHER THOMAS ON RIGHT
Father Kennedy is the heir to the Kennedy Bakery fortune.

But now it looks as if Hugh's hopes for a London career has collapsed as a result of the latest allegation.

He is currently being interviewed by the PSNI who say the allegation is "historic".

Of course Father Kennedy deserves the presumption of innocence until it is proven otherwise. 

But it is unfortunate that after being cleared another allegation comes along.

TV choir priest Fr Hugh Kennedy quizzed over sex assault

PSNI launch an inquiry into a sex attack claim.







By Ciaran Barnes, Chief Reporter

PUBLISHED04/12/2016






TV show: Fr Hugh Kennedy in the television documentary Choirboys.
TV show: Fr Hugh Kennedy in the television documentary Choirboys.
A prominent TV priest who has publicly claimed never to have “molested a child” has been questioned by police about sexual assault.
THE SUNDAY LIFE ARTICLE:
Sunday Life can reveal that Fr Hugh Kennedy — the former Administrator of St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast and star of BBC television documentary Choirboys — was quizzed by detectives last month.






Fr Hugh Kennedy celebrating mass in the BBC documentary.
Fr Hugh Kennedy celebrating mass in the BBC documentary.
The 59-year-old has been suspended from clerical duties until the investigation is concluded.
PSNI Detective Inspector Zoe McKee said: “Police investigating a report of a sexual assault allegation interviewed a male on November 7, 2016.
“Inquiries into this matter are ongoing.”
A spokesman for the Down and Connor Diocese of the Catholic Church confirmed Fr Kennedy has been withdrawn from ministry.
He said: “We have been informed that the PSNI has initiated an investigation into an alleged incident of an historical adult nature involving a priest of the Diocese of Down and Connor.
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“Bishop Noel Treanor has suspended the cleric’s ministry pending a full and complete investigation.
“As with every person in such circumstances the cleric’s innocence is presumed until the contrary is proven and he retains the right to his good name. The Diocese cannot provide any further information whilst the investigation is ongoing.”
Until recently Fr Kennedy, whose family are from the Portstewart area, had been based in London at More House in the Archdiocese of Westminster.
The priest moved to England earlier this year having previously been Administrator of St Peter’s Cathedral.
During this time in the west Belfast parish publicly said: “I can categorically state I have never violated or molested a child placed in my trust, either in a private or priestly capacity.”
While at St Peter’s, music-loving Fr Kennedy established the hugely successful Schola Cantorum boys’ choir which featured in a three-part BBC documentary.
In relation to the issue of child protection,  Fr Kennedy previously stated: “In order to reassure the parents of the children associated with Schola Cantorum, I am personally willing to engage with as many of them as possible, to satisfy them of my bona fides.”
Fr Kennedy was ordained a priest in 1981 after studying at the Irish College in Rome.
He was appointed Administrator at St Peter’s Cathedral in 2006 after a spell as parish priest at Sacred Heart in the Oldpark area of north Belfast.
PAT SAYS:

All of us in the clergy have known for many years that Hugh Kennedy had, let us say, "issues".

In 1984 a 17 year old sixth former of St Louis' College, Ballymena, where Fr Kennedy was chaplain, told me that Hugh had jumped up on his back on the school corridor.

There have been other instances of Hugh asking young men to go swimming.

Bishop Treanor's files may not contain any definite accusations against Father Kennedy - but I would be amazed if they did not contain letters of concern.

THE BIG QUESTION for many is - why did Bishop Noel Treanor send Hugh Kennedy to London at the age of 58 and why did Cardinal Nichols accept him there?

And finally - What went wrong in London this past 10 months?


33 comments:

  1. As you said innocent till proven guilty if such be the case. I do not know Fr Kennedy. Yes there was/is? a culture of sending priests away to "solve" a problem. I hope the issue is resolved soon because the limbo of suspension is a horrible place for someone to be in

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    1. Indeed and this is Hugh's second period of suspension. His last one went on for 2 / 3 years.

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  2. We've had our sport with Hugh on this Blog and maybe now we should leave him alone. There are no big issues here, just a personal tragedy.

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    1. Personal tragedy ++++ for Hugh.

      More mishandling for Noel Treanor and Co!

      Maybe you want to cover up that?

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    2. They tell you lies and threaten you with legal proceedings, as you claimed Diarmuid Martin himself told you during your brief flirtation.

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    3. "There are no big issues here"?? Really? HK is the cause of his own "tragedy". A very very silly and immature man - to say the very least. What was Vincent Nichols thinking of on taking him in? And what was Noel Treanor thinking of too? Madness. Indulging a narcissistic and delusional man who is the centre of his own universe.

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    4. 12.11 I have had a few personal tragedies during my years as Priest. I have never been suspended or made to step down as a result of them.

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    5. Cardinal Nichols was persuaded to take Hugh Kennedy on by Bishop Treanor. Usually +Vincent is a very cautious man and does not tolerate any whiff of scandal, so I am a bit surprised with the Hugh Kennedy situation. All I will say is that Noel Treanor must have done some persuading. However, if Hugh Kennedy is innocent or not, he can wave goodbye to any further contact with the Archdiocese of Westminster.

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  3. Cover what up!
    Is there legally anything to cover up?

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    Replies
    1. Do legalities more than anything else?

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  4. I never knew he came from portstewart

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    1. He doesn't. He has a holiday home there.

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    2. It's not any ordinary holiday home, it faces the Atlantic and is very plush indeed. He's been around quite a bit recently. Portstewart Blog Reader

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    3. He's going to be around Portstewart a lot for the foreseeable methinks.

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  5. Pat
    apologises for going off topic here but I wanted to ask how your evening listening to AB Eamon Martin in the Seamus Heaney homeplace go last Saturday? Thankns

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  6. There is someone available to give him advice if he requires it - the Wounded Healer of Armagh. He might be able to get Hugh off the hook. Siobhan.

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  7. So is everyone forgetting the real personal tragedy
    The person who is making the complaint is the more important person here.
    IF he was abused in any way....isn't he the one we should be thinking about?

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    Replies
    1. We'll never know anything about her unless it comes to court.

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  8. I said on this blog a few months back that Dr Kennedy was going nowhere within the presbyterate structure in Westminster.
    His card was well and truly marked before he arrived here. Vinny is nobody's fool.
    London Priest

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  9. You can be sure that Hugh Kennedy will never return to the Archdiocese of Westminster. As one of your correspondents said, Vincent Nicholls hates the whiff of scandal and even more to be embarrassed and in public. I understand he was apoplectic with rage when he saw the press report and the mention of his Archdiocese. It remains to be seen why he took Hugh Kennedy on in the first place? He would not be so understanding or forgiving of one of his own priests who had any sort of cloud over his head. Just one point if I may correct. While Fr Kennedy may well have invited Canon Christopher Tuckwell out for a meal, I doubt that he ever accepted. Canon Tuckwell is very well loved in this diocese and is compassionate, but very shrewd and canny - as befits a graduate of Sandhurst and a former Army Officer. I know for a fact that he gave HK a wide berth.

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    1. I was told that Canon Tuckwell did go for a meal with Hugh but later complained that he did not get a word in with Hugh talking about himself and said "Never again".?

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    2. I can also confirm that Cardinal Nichols has already seen a copy of Sunday Life.

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  10. So one posting here gives a fiddlers about the alleged
    victim in all this
    Pat...I'm going off you big time

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    Replies
    1. Thats not true.

      Victims are No 1 priority.

      But there is confusion.

      Sunday Life inplied the victim might be a minor.

      Irish News says adult.

      Maybe I will hear from the victim?

      Will give him and all victims my full support.

      Always have.

      Ask Ciaran Dallat's victim.

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    2. Thats not true.

      Victims are No 1 priority.

      But there is confusion.

      Sunday Life inplied the victim might be a minor.

      Irish News says adult.

      Maybe I will hear from the victim?

      Will give him and all victims my full support.

      Always have.

      Ask Ciaran Dallat's victim.

      Delete
  11. Big Lily would like for yiz all til know that she is very shacked about the big Dean so she is. She has tuck til her bed so she has. She is that scundered she does nat know high she will show her bake about the road, iver again.

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  12. This is another case of PSNI using similar tactics to those employed by police forces in England against celebrities.
    1. Receive a complaint
    2. Arrest the alleged perpetrator to allow an interview to occur
    3. Place the individual on continuing police bail
    4. Leak the name of the alleged perpetrator to the press
    5. Continue the bail to see if the publicity brings forward any other complainants to build a pattern of behaviour
    6. Keep the bail going as long as possible then hand case to CPS/PPS to prolong the case while awaiting more complaints
    7. Eventually decide there is no case to be answered, quietly drop it and issue a no further action letter to the person on bail
    8. If the press show any interest ensure that the public is left with the impression of guilt by not saying the person had no case to answer but explain that there was insufficient evidence to charge the person
    9. Job done, character and reputation destroyed and move on to the next case.

    This was the method used for numerous cases in England where individuals had no case to answer, most notable and latest one being Cliff Richard. Only on forums where no evidence is know do these cases rumble on with the belief that there is no smoke without fire. In England the promise of compensation from the government through the victims fund and from the perpetrator has been enough to encourage individuals to file claims that turn out to be false and without evidence.

    So much for innocence being presumed. The media immediately falls into the trap of assuming that all those making complaints are 'victims' when they are alleged victims or more correctly complainants. Very few journalists are willing to make the distinction, see the current scandal in English football. Some of the alleged perpetrators are already dead or previously convicted but there will be innocent individuals included in the round up with the evil ones.

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  13. In Monday's Irish News it says that Hugh Kennedy is being investigated on a historical abuse incident ivolving an adult & their are no Children involved. I've never been a fan of Hugh Kennedy but he does have a few Pound after the sale of the Bakery so I just wonder if it's a ex boyfriend of his looking a bit of money.

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  14. Kennedy has played fast and loose with the priesthood, using it to further himself. He is an arrogant and conceited buffoon with delusions of grandeur.

    His pretensions know no limit. He uses his seemingly limitless supply of money to further and promote himself. I am glad that Canon Tuckwell, it would seem, wasn't taken in by "Dean" Kennedy.

    If Fr C Thomas was infatuated by this clown, then the English bishops need to scrutinise him too.

    What normal priest jumps up on the back of a 17 years old boy? Then there was the whole episode, during the Schola Cantorum trip to London a few years ago, which led to resignation of Helen Frame. She should be interviewed.

    Watch the series "Choirboys" on Youtube (type and observe the scene when the boys all sing the Gay anthem - "Somewhere over the rainbow", conducted by the boyfriend, in somebodies garden, during a party, the "dean" swanning about in a boating jacket. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khJPvc2_e20

    It is shocking and a scandal. Questions need to be asked about the promotion of such a man by D&C and his acceptance by Westminster. The complete ignoring of FLASHING RED LIGHTS OF WARNING! Go figure.



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  15. Pat, you need to get back to the problems in Maynooth.
    I think this time you'll need to be more active in looking for information as the seminarians have been scared into silence after seeing that nothing happened with the last scandal (other than the whistleblower being kicked out) and after being warned/threatened by Fr.Mull to be quiet
    Pat, please help Maynooth from these people

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  16. So now he hangs out around portstewart at the laity expense.

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    1. Actually it would be at the expense of the other priests but I'm sure he's too decent to take a penny from the ever diminishing stipend fund.

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  17. Ciaran Dallat did not have a victim; he had a relationship with an adult woman.

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