Bishop Dermot O’Mahony

I never met, nor had I any dealing with, Bishop Dermot O’Mahony. Until the Murphy Report anything I ever heard about him was positive – a warm, gentle, caring man who was a shining light in a Church that could often be harsh and judgmental.
I was part of the ACP sponsored study and critique of the Murphy Report by retired judge Fergal Sweeney. That convinced me that there were serious faults with the work of Yvonne Murphy on this occasion, and also with the legislation underpinning the Commission of Investigation. Recent experience has shown up the frailty of that legislation, and also that the only reason it worked so smoothly and efficiently in the case of the Dublin diocese was that the bishops and senior clergy made no effort to assert their rights to natural justice. I know they did this so that no more pain would be caused to those who had suffered at the hands of priests, but they got no acknowledgement for this; indeed they were vilified from all sides, including by the Archbishop of Dublin. I sometimes wonder if their had been a “Denis O’Brien type” among them, would they have been better off!!
I also found it disturbing that neither the media nor the Archbishop were in any way open to the findings of Fergal Sweeney’s report. Minds were closed, and people just did not want to know.

So, reading in this morning’s paper the account of the funeral Mass for Bishop O’Mahony gave me a lift. I know that Tim Murphy was a close friend of his for many years, and that Tim was extremely upset by the way Dermot was treated in the Murphy report, and even more so by the Archbishop. I was glad that he got the opportunity to have his say, and that he said it so well. Tim, I am so pleased for you that you could do your bit to set the record straight.
I was also glad to see what Bishop Eamon Walsh said about their being a serious lack of equity in the way Dermot was treated.

May he rest in peace, and enjoy the reward of his goodness. And I hope that in time a sense of balance will come to this whole sorry saga, and that history will treat all sides more fairly, and help to bring about a belated healing of the many layers of hurt.