Monday, 5 June 2017


Image result for father maskell

The Baltimore abuser priest fled to Ireland in 1994 when he was being investigated for the abuse of Baltimore girls in a Catholic school where he was the chaplain.

It is also believed that he played some role in the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik (26) who was about to expose his abuse at the school.

We have learned in recent days that the priest fled to the Diocese of Ferns in Wexford and supplied in a church there celebrating Mass for a local priest.

We have also learned that he was employed by the Irish HSE (Health and Safety Executive) as a counsellor while he was in Wexford.

It has since come to light that he abused at least TWO VICTIMS when he was in Ireland!

Image result for bishop brendan comiskey

His time in Wexford was during the episcopate of Bishop Brendan Comiskey who had to resign as Bishop of Ferns over his handing of the priest abuser Father Sean Fortune.

Image result for father sean fortune
HSE investigates activities of US priest featured in Netflix series
Fr Joseph Maskell’s work as psychologist in Wexford under review after fresh allegations
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 20:54 Updated: Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 20:56

 The Health Service Executive is investigating the activities of US priest Joseph Maskell, who fled to Ireland following sex abuse allegations in Baltimore.
Maskell escaped to Co Wexford in 1994 amid claims he had sexually abused students while serving as chaplain at the all-girls Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1967 to 1975.
By the time Maskell, whose father was from Limerick, arrived in Ireland, he was ordered not to perform any priestly duties.
The HSE told The Irish Times it had begun reviewing the work of Maskell and “any concerns” arising from his employment as a psychologist in a “psycho-education initiative” by the South Eastern Health Board in Wexford from April 11th, 1995 to November 7th, 1995. He lived in Ireland until 1998.
Maskell is suspected of involvement in the unsolved murder of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik (26), an English teacher at the Baltimore school who became aware of his abuse.
Cesnik disappeared in November 1969 after leaving her apartment on a shopping trip. Her beaten, badly decomposed body was found in a field in Baltimore in January 1970.
One of his victims, Jean Wehner, then a 16-year-old student at Keough, claimed that Maskell had taken her to see Cesnik’s body before it was discovered.
He allegedly told her: “You see what happens when you say bad things about people?”

Cold case
Maskell, who died in 2001, and the cold case surrounding Cesnik’s murder are the subject of The Keepers, a seven-part documentary series released by Netflix last month.
The series has prompted new abuse victims to come forward, renewed public interest and, in turn, the HSE’s review into the priest’s activities in Ireland.
A number of Irish victims have emerged, according to people with knowledge of the Maskell case in the US.
US-based witnesses have said Maskell’s abuse began during his counselling sessions.
The HSE said it had “commenced a process to review services delivered and regarding any concerns arising from the temporary, short-term employment in 1995 of a Mr AJ Maskell by the South Eastern Health Board in its Wexford Community Care.”
The former priest was engaged as a temporary clinical psychologist in “a short-term psycho-education initiative,” the HSE said.
The health service declined to say how many children or young people he treated during the seven months.
Maskell was asked for and provided references from the health board as part of the application process for his employment, the HSE said, and that confirmation was also received and recorded from An Garda Síochána stating that he had no previous convictions.
After his employment with the health board ended, he continued working as a psychologist in private practice in Wexford and nearby Castlebridge from 1995 to 1998.
The health board had no engagement with Maskell during this time, the HSE said.
Maskell had ceased his employment with the health board by the time it received correspondence from the Diocese of Ferns in June 1996 raising concerns about his work as a psychologist and his unsupervised status in light of the emerging details about the allegations against him in Baltimore.
He first came to the attention of the diocese in April 1995 when he said Mass without permission in the parish of Screen and Curracloe while covering for a sick priest.

“I wish only to offer Mass privately and carry out my spiritual activities in a like manner,” Maskell wrote to the diocese after it raised concerns.

Temporary leave
He said that he had been granted “temporary leave” and that he had no “plan or desire to engage in any public ministry while here,” according to details on file on Maskell dating from April 1995 to 1998 that were released by the diocese.
The diocese contacted the health board and the Baltimore archdiocese over its concerns about Maskell after he continued to appear in full clerical garb and presented himself as a priest in Wexford in 1996.
Concerns were raised that Maskell was counselling young people in his private practice. In 1998 Maskell gave an undertaking not to provide psychological services to anyone under the age of 18.
Further contacts with the health board, the Catholic Church in Baltimore, the Garda and other individuals with knowledge of Maskell’s activities continued until September 1998. He left Ireland that year.
Maskell moved to Wexford in 1994 after two women – Wehner and Teresa Lancaster – filed a $40 million (€36 million) civil lawsuit against him, alleging child abuse.
The two women were only identified at the time as “Jane Doe” and “Jane Roe.”
“We do have word that there are two victims coming forward in Ireland,” Ms Lancester said in a phone interview from the US.
Ms Lancaster, who now works as an attorney, said that Maskell spoke of Ireland to her “many times” when she was a student at Keogh.
“He ran to Ireland in 1995 when the Doe-Roe case was breaking,” she said. “They were supposedly going to raid his residence and confiscate records but no records were found and he was gone.”


I have some questions about the issue of Father Joseph Maskell fleeing to Wexford in Ireland:

1. Did the Archbishop of Baltimore or anyone in Baltimore archdiocese contact Bishop Brendan Comiskey or anyone in Ferns diocese about giving Father Maskell any kind of "shelter".

2. Why was Father Maskell who was known to the Archdiocese of Baltimore as a multi abuser allowed to celebrate public Mass in Ferns diocese where he would have access to potential victims.

3. When Maskell was given a job as a HSE counsellor did he have references from Baltimore and Ferns?

4. Has the alleged of at least two new victims of Father Maskell in Ireland being reported to the Gardai?

5. Was Father Maskell another of those cases whereby the Catholic Church moved abusing priests from parish to parish and from country to country?- just like Father Brendan Smyth was allowed to minister in the USA after people like Cardinal Daly knew he had abused in Ireland.

6. Is the Maskell case another hidden secret in Irish Catholicism?


  1. I have followed these posts about Sister Cathy Cesnick and Fr Joseph Maskell. One thing that has not been considered is the possibility that Fr Maskell was completely innocent of sexually abusing anyone - something that he vehemently denied doing to his dying day. There is no uncorroborated evidence to link him to any sexual abuse, merely the account of one woman (initially) who could well be a fantasist and a dangerous one at that (suffering from false memory syndrome). In fact it is that explanation that caused the initial law suits to be thrown out of court. It is only as a result of this one woman, and the two elderly female campaigners featured in the documentary, that others have come forward to claim that they too were sexually abused by the priest. I repeat there is no evidence apart from their claims and in any court of law in the Western world such a case would not be prosecuted. I offer you these thoughts in the hope that you will at least admit the possibility that this priest could be innocent and if so went to his early grave a broken man, destroyed by the false testimonies of some women whose motives are far from clear. To be sure the Archdiocese has paid the women many hundreds of thousands of dollars, but not in addition that Fr Maskell abused them (no court has ever stated that he did) but to assist them in counselling and in getting on with their lives in a wholesome and productive manner. I have watched the Netflix programme several times and am left with more questions than it could have answered. There is not a shred of evidence that Fr Maskell was any way involved in the tragic death of Sister Cathy (more likely that she was the victim of a serial killer who was operating in that area at that time and who abducted and murdered other almost identical women), nor the sexual abuse of others. I could be wrong, and if so then Fr Maskell deserves the ignominious end that he had. But what is he was innocent? Could you find it in your heart and mind to consider that for a moment? If innocent then it is he who is the real victim of this human tragedy.

    1. Did you watch The Keepers closely?

      Why did Father Maskell flee to Ireland if he was innocent?

    2. Innocent? Are you serious? The number of allegations against this man is too great to be treated with your lightness of touch.

      The situation points up the absolutely corrupt nature of Roman Catholic hierarchy.

      This documentary series should make Catholics furious about the priesthood. It is worse than unnecssary; it is evil.


    As a seminarian in the 80’s I had the chance to work with the JoG’s in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. I witnessed some great work and the beginning of some truly revolutionary thinking in terms of the care of persons with a profound learning disability. Even then though, I questioned the capacity of some of their ‘directors of services’ – men who appeared to be deemed fit for their role solely because they were members of a religious order. That many of these men succeeded had much to do with the people who worked for them and had nothing to do with the talents of said men.

    I had the chance to work for them again in Belfast when they tried, and failed, disastrously, to establish services here for adults with a learning disability and for the elderly. Again, I had a sense of good men, (brother Finnian Gallagher and Bro / Fr John ???/ Bro David) way out of their depth – only there because they were members of a religious order.
    When they first came to Belfast, John Pepper was known as their ‘hitman’ – if the Order wanted someone ‘taken out’ or something settled – he was the ‘one.’ Something that brothers Finnian, John and David were not above promoting and which always struck me as odd. I am not making a judgment here – I’m only giving my perspective.
    I, briefly, managed one of their services and John Pepper was on the interview panel. I cannot recall who told me, I think it was Bro David, that Pepper was the only one I needed to impress. I already, instinctually, new this and was prepared.
    There was always a sense of tension – even among the brothers when Pepper’s name was mentioned. When a visit was imminent, there was a sense of unease about the facilities we were responsible for. Again, I was left with the impression that this wasn’t a Christian way to run an institution.
    Just some random thoughts.

  3. Sad to hear about the maskell story whatever the truth or lack of it in the telling. I am beginning to ask myself am I posting out of habit now or have I got something constructive to add to the story. Perhaps what I am asking is given a fair amount of repetition themes on here how can the content be used for positive change.

    1. Engage with the ICC project Sean. That would be a response to the stasis reflected by the repetition you mention. Without a change, there can be no change! You know that yourself better than many. Via con Dios.

  4. MourneManMichael6 June 2017 at 11:30

    Thank you 10:04 for your honest insights.
    I picked up on one expression you used, because I think it applies to the roles many, if not most, RC clerics assume here in Ireland.
    "....out of their depth, ...and only there because they were members of a religious order...."
    How many Irish PPs assume they alone are the best placed to manage the parish's administration and finances, despite having no specific management or financial training, and often having accountants, lawyers etc among the parishoners?
    I was struck by the comment a previous seminarian colleague, now a PP once said to me. "I have them coming to me for all sorts of problems, mostly marital stuff, and I haven't clue what to tell them, so mostly I just listen" I think he was providing valuable supportive listening, for he is a wise man. But I wonder how many other less able clerics might be proferring misguided advice from an untrained and narrow religious perspective?
    Perhaps seminary training has improved from previous days, and pastoral and psychological issues are considered, but on the basis of reading this blog about Maynooth etc, I hardly think so.

    1. Yes, MMM, there's such a lot of truth in what you and the earlier poster above are saying re/PPs finding themselves in management roles for which they have little or no skills, training or aptitude. One of the most blatant examples of this is the obligatory role of chairman of the school board of governors. There have been dozens of situations where wrong decisions were encouraged, favouritism was shown and God knows what else! - - and all because the PP was surrounded by people, who hadn't the guts to speak up and be fair. This must have been the case in other types of committees also.

    2. MourneManMichael6 June 2017 at 12:34

      Yes I've pondered about the school board chairman role too. Just at weekend I was discussing with family and we were all wondering how on earth an individual well known to us ended up as principal of a medium sized RC country primary school. My particular source of wonderment related to fact that when at school with him in same class, the individual in question was the proverbial "thick as two short planks!"
      Maybe he had other 'skills.'

  5. @12.19
    You are so right! Many many years afterwards some school staff are still smarting from the mental trauma which affected their lives at the time when they were the victims of unfair promotion decisions etc and other unfairnesses and ingratitude. But you can't let it ruin the rest of your life. You have to move on and if possible, surround yourself with decent folk.

  6. Any update on Tuam Pat?

  7. Tuam Tuam Tuam!! look at Killala. it doesn't get as much as a mention but by God is there scandal there. you can dig but you wont have to dig far.

    2016 eat your heart out!!Summer 2017 is here lads and let the games begin!

    1. You can't leave us hanging like that! Tell us where we can dig??

    2. Does it concern homosexuality? Thought so.

    3. Dig dig dig! Is this the hole story or what?

  8. 17.22 What should we expect?

    1. Scandal... natch.

  9. Never mind Tuam and Killala. There was a great turn out in Maynooth for the new Meath Deacon. In fact even some of the recently ordained were back. It was like WYD all over again. There's a fellow in a fairly prominent position ordained just about a couple of decades who loved nature walks in the Phoenix Park and he loved nature that much that even when it was dark at night he used to go on nature walks beside his car at truck stops. Obviously keen on nature.

    1. It seems Catholic priests diddle them all, including truckers.

    2. maybe he just liked a walk up the Aras?

    3. Walk up? Surely, you mean take up.

    4. Why was the new Deacon ordained for Meath when he's from Monaghan in he Clogher Diocese?

    5. Maybe a naturist?

  10. It's time Pat threw us some juicy tit-bit. We're gasping.