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Friday 28 July 2017

Journalist who found runaway cleric in Mexico died just days ago

'Mr Thomas, who passed away from pneumonia on March 3, was living in Wicklow when he revealed that he had discovered where Mr Casey was living.'
'Mr Thomas, who passed away from pneumonia on March 3, was living in Wicklow when he revealed that he had discovered where Mr Casey was living.'
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

One of the journalists who tracked down the runaway bishop Eamonn Casey in Mexico passed away earlier this month.

Gordon Thomas will be remembered - along with Veronica Guerin - as one of those who confronted Mr Casey in the Central American country.

The scandal emerged in 1992 when Annie Murphy revealed she had fathered a child with him. The bishop was pressed by the media about money that was "borrowed" from the diocese and he duly fled to London before moving to Rome, where he resigned his position. He travelled to a parish in Ecuador and later a convent in Mexico.

Mr Thomas, who passed away from pneumonia on March 3, was living in Wicklow when he revealed that he had discovered where Mr Casey was living.

He was commissioned by the 'Sunday Independent' in 1993 to confront him in Mexico.

Mr Thomas had been in touch with a friend of Ms Murphy's called Dympna Kilbane, who was also in contact with Mr Casey.

Ms Kilbane agreed to co-operate with Mr Thomas and got in touch with Mr Casey, arranging to meet him outside a local teaching institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he was learning Spanish.

Instead, Mr Thomas took her place and he confronted the former bishop, who was said to have been "gobsmacked" by the encounter.

Mr Thomas handed Mr Casey a tape of the 'The Late Late Show' which had featured an interview with Ms Murphy, who revealed she was 23 when she began a passionate affair with the bishop who was twice her age. She had been sent by her family in America to stay with Mr Casey, a distant relative, following her divorce.

Mr Casey fought back against the article in the 'Sunday Independent' on April 11, 1993 and tried to distance himself from the words attributed to him, which had all been recorded.

Mr Thomas passed away at his home in Bath, England.

Irish Independent

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