Opinion Comment

Sunday 23 July 2017

Why Eamonn Casey really had no right to call himself 'Father'

Maybe the late bishop paid a high price for his mistakes, but his Church made sure others paid a far higher one for theirs

REMEMBERING: Bishop Eamonn Casey photographed outside his original family home in Firies near Killarney, Co Kerry, in 1974 — the year his son Peter was born. Photo: Don MacMonagle
REMEMBERING: Bishop Eamonn Casey photographed outside his original family home in Firies near Killarney, Co Kerry, in 1974 — the year his son Peter was born. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It is perhaps no surprise that the death of Eamonn Casey was almost treated as a moment of light relief after the few weeks we'd had in this country. Next to children buried in septic tanks, a white slavery operation and a baby trafficking racket, Casey seemed like the harmless face of the Church.

Even regarding his "failings", his "mistakes" as they were referred to, well, there was almost something healthy and vigorous about a grown man having sex with a grown woman.

And so somehow, remembering Eamonn Casey had a flavour of an episode of Reeling in the Years. It was almost warm nostalgia. It helped, too, that journos all loved the guy. He was clearly charming, and, as we say in Ireland, convivial. So many of those who had dealt with him at the time came over all warm and gooey.

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