‘Violent, predatory and dangerous’

Irish Times

IRELAND: Rockwell College, Co Tipperary

“DERMOT” IS an Irishman who has had a distinguished international career. He attended the Spiritan/Holy Ghost novitiate at Rockwell from 1954 to 1956/7, in preparation for priesthood in that congregation.

While there he “formed the opinion that a number of seminarians there were being sexually abused” by novitiate director Fr Christopher Meagher. Further into his conversation with The Irish Times he acknowledged that he too had been abused by the priest, physically and sexually. He recalled Meagher as “violent, predatory and dangerous”.

He was “a damaged individual who in moments of clarity wasn’t a bad priest. My anger is at the congregation. Other priests knew but priests don’t rat on priests,” Dermot said. Victims had “very difficult lives and were very damaged” and he was convinced the congregation “knew very well what had happened at Rockwell”.

In 1996 Dermot confronted the Irish provincial leadership of the Spiritans/Holy Ghost Fathers about all of this.

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