Thursday 8 December 2016

Mary Kenny: Devastation and disbelief when abuse case hits close to home

Published 20/06/2011 | 05:00

We have all read accounts of offences by paedophile priests and asked ourselves 'how could it happen?' and 'how could they get away with it?' But believe me, the whole story takes on a different perspective when the scandal occurs close to home, and you know the alleged perpetuator.

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Father Kit Cunningham, who died last December in Dublin, was one of my oldest friends. He was an adorable man; great fun; a little too fond of the vino, perhaps; and, on occasions, a benign flirt with the ladies -- he had that unmistakeable glint in his eye of a man who likes women.

He was a terrific pastor of London's oldest continuous Catholic church, St Etheldreda's in Ely Place, near Fleet Street, and, perhaps in consequence to its proximity to newspaper life, became unofficial chaplain to the print media. I can hardly think of anyone who didn't like Kit.

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